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Marijuana: SAFER Takes on the NFL, Cites "Hypocrisy" of Player's Huge Fine for Marijuana Possession

New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk was suspended for one week and fined two weekly paychecks, or about $300,000, by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this week after pleading guilty in July to misdemeanor marijuana possession charges. That has the marijuana reform group SAFER (Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation) crying foul.
SAFER Ricky Williams billboard, 2007 (
SAFER, whose primary argument is that marijuana is safer than alcohol and should not be treated more harshly, announced Thursday that it would deliver an online petition and letter calling for changes to the NFL's marijuana policy to Goodell today in New York City. For SAFER, the huge fine assessed against Faulk is rank hypocrisy from a sporting organization that accepts hundreds of millions of dollars in alcohol advertising.

The petition reads as follows:

"Players with the National Football League who use marijuana instead of alcohol to relax and recreate are making a rational choice to use a less harmful substance.

"Suspending these players and taking away hundreds of thousands (or sometimes millions) of dollars for using marijuana is driving them to use alcohol, a drug that -- unlike marijuana -- contributes to violent and aggressive behavior. Unless the NFL plans to suspend every player who receives a speeding ticket -- which is considered an offense on par with marijuana possession in some states -- it has absolutely no reason to suspend players for the simple use and possession of marijuana. Doing so is not only irrational, but given the NFL's acceptance and blatant promotion of alcohol, it is exceptionally hypocritical.

"Marijuana is safer than alcohol and the National Football League's substance abuse policy should be changed immediately to reflect that fact."

"The NFL has no problem with players using alcohol and it accepts hundreds of millions of dollars to promote booze to football fans of all ages," said SAFER executive director Mason Tvert. "Yet the league punishes those players who make the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol to relax and recreate. The NFL is driving its players to drink. Every objective study on marijuana has concluded that it is far less harmful than alcohol both to those who use it and to others around them," Tvert said. "It is a mystery why Commissioner Goodell and the NFL would want to steer the biggest, toughest guys in the country away from using marijuana and toward using alcohol, which contributes to aggressive behavior and countless violent crimes."

This isn't the first time SAFER has gone after the NFL's marijuana policy. Last October, the group erected a billboard across the street from Invesco Field in Denver that featured an image of NFL superstar Ricky Williams in a Denver Broncos jersey, urging the recently reinstated player to "Come to Denver: Where the people support your SAFER choice."

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Ricky Williams

Hypocrisy, Hyprocrisy, Hypocrisy, Again Marijuana is used as the scape goat for all of society problems. Yet,it is o.k. to have thousands of people drunk at football games. Our own government statistics show between ages 18 and 25 more deaths from driving drunk. Alcohol is the number one drug in murder cases and aggravated assault and robbery! But, Marijuana and the Government's own statistics show NO DEATHS from the use of this drug! So why is Ricky Williams being fined when he chooses a safe alternative like Marijuana. Goodell you should be ashamed!!!



The message sent by SAFER to the NFL must include " the kids". Whenever marijuana legalization comes up, the "do-gooders" start by questioning the message that it would send to kids. Ever been to a football game? Ever watched one on t.v.? Hypocrisy abounds around and around in the minds of our government. Remember now that the NFL has a relationship with the federal government considering its operations and player pensions. The NFL`s response is in line with government requests you see.

Kevin Faulk

I have to laugh when I see that people are fined for marijuana use and possession. But, the "LEGAL DRUG" of alcohol is used by big organizations such as the football league to make all your money! And the fans, guzzling millions of dollars of alcohol fill your stands paying high ticket prices so you can stuff your pockets some more. Is enough ever enough? Obviously, alcohol, your drug of choice, is ok as long as you get richer and richer. Marijuana, as case studies show over and over, has not been responsible for one death. You never hear of someone so intoxicated on marijuana that they cross the center line and kill millions of innocent people. The only reason marijuana is the evil of this nation is that the government and big business cannot make any money from it. And that's the bottom line, isn't it? The smoke and mirrors you use to say it's harmful to the health of people and just an evil drug really means it doesn't make any money for you. And let's not get into the subject of cigarettes.....

PS, Isn't it a joke to fine these players hundreds of thousands of dollars when they make that in interest on their over-inflated non-deserved salaries? The NFL is whacked.

NFL fines

Two paychecks? Does that mean when I get caught, my fine will be $1600? Or will they devastate my life because I'm not an overpaid celebrity?

Stop the Intellectual Dishonesty of the Drug War Whores!

Consider the expression ' Drugs & Alcohol'... shouldn't it be 'Drugs Including and/or Especially Alcohol'?

Alcohol, the original 'gateway drug', is the 'Drug of Choice' of our european ancestors... who after 20+ years and with the help of an FDR campaign promise rejected the 1st Drug War when they repealed alcohol prohibition.

It's fun to think what may have been if the potato famine had happened in Jamaica instead of Ireland, if instead of German mercenaries fighting in the American Revolution it was Bolivians or Columbians? Alcohol... not cannabis would be the controlled substance!

Oh what a wicked web these fundamentalist christians weave... let slip the crackheads of christianity... to the detriment of society!

Just say no to the purveyors of gods & gov'ts... always more harm than help!

Dare to Disagree,

Billy B. Blunt
Tacoma, WA

P.S. "Truth is treason in the kingdom of lies" - Ron Paul

NFL and booze.

Why oh why does anyone seemed surprised that the "corporations", all of them, want to keep cannabis illegal? First, with minimal investment, I can grow real good bud. They reap no profit, and that pisses them off. And if I have good bud, I won't buy their "bad bud" (as in budwieser".
Second, they would have to admit that they had been wrong, heard any "officials" do that lately? They would rather pimp their own daughters.
Third, the little people, (you and me) would be back in charge, thats not in their plans. The "faith based" government of puritans, back these stupid fines and jail because, they "know best". It seems that unless we make drastic changes, within one generation, our kids will live in a true "police state". I also agree with Ron Paul.

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