Perennial All Pro Joe Thomas said the NFL substance-abuse policy regarding marijuana that teammate Josh Gordon violated is "outdated" and no longer reflects the "morals" in society and pro sports. The receiver's indefinite suspension for failing a test for weed was upheld by an arbitrator Wednesday. The league will determine after the season when Gordon, who's in Stage 3 of the league's drug program, can apply for reinstatement. Speaking after the Browns' preseason finale, Thomas said the club must regroup after losing its best player for the second time in two years to a violation of the substance-abuse policy. Gordon served a two-game ban in 2013 for testing positive for codeine only to lead the NFL in the receiving yards. The left tackle reserved his most pointed comments the collectively-bargained policy governing marijuana. He said the fault lies with both sides, the league and union. "I think looking at the NFL drug program, I think they haven't really touched it in a lot of years because it's kinda been the one thing when you're collectively bargaining that it kinda gets put to the end and then when you're close on a deal you just say 'ahh let's just leave it how it's been' rather than actually work on maybe some issues that are there," Thomas said. "The problem is that now you're sitting in a situation where you have a collective bargaining agreement that lasts 10 years and in the middle of it nobody's going to want to go back to the bargaining table and try to hash out things that may be an issue as they clearly are on a number of different levels but that are only going to affect a couple of people, I think there's a resistance from management of the NFL and also from the players association to do that type of needed updating of the drug policy because obviously there's some oversights when they wrote the program and some cultural changes that have happened that I don't think the program accurately reflects the morals of society today and the NFL and pro sports in general." Thomas noted the threshold for a positive marijuana test is 10 times higher for Olympic athletes than NFL players. Some pro leagues do not penalize their players for failed marijuana screenings.
Cleveland Browns' All Pro Joe Thomas takes aim at NFL's 'outdated' policy on marijuana
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Aug 30