NFL Revises its Drug Testing Policy – Should You?

Jennifer Gladstone

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Dealing with drug use in the workplace is something almost all employers’ are thinking about these days. This week, the Colorado Supreme Court is hearing a case that tackles the issue of workers using medical marijuana, and several states are moving closer to their own legalization votes.

In the midst of all this, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) voted to accept a new drug testing policy, which brings some pretty significant changes regarding the use of marijuana and human growth hormone.

Once the new agreement is finalized, the NFL will officially start testing players for HGH, a performance enhancing supplement. HGH is used with steroids, which have been off limits for years. There are known ways of getting around steroid testing, but the league says finding HGH is another way to confirm the use of prohibited substances.

The changes regarding marijuana are dramatic enough that several players are actually being re-instated. The union’s biggest gripe with the old policy was that the threshold for testing positive was just 15 nanograms of THC per milliliter. The NFLPA said someone accidentally breathing in second hand smoke would fail such a test. As a point of reference, the cut-off for Olympic athletes is 150 ng/mL -- ten times the amount allowed for a football player.

The NFL’s policy had not been updated since 2010, and some aspects have not changed in 20 years. A lot can happen in that amount of time.

When did you last look at your company’s drug policy? Now might be a good time to make sure it’s up to date, and if you don’t have one, it’s time to create one. The NFL’s negotiations highlight the need for very clear and well thought out testing plans. The tips below will help you get started.


For more information about molding the right drug testing policy for your company check out the following resources:

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/asp/drugfree/drugs/screen2.asp

http://doas.ga.gov/StateLocal/HRA/Rules/Docs_DrugTestingBestPractices/BPDevelopingDrugFreeWorkplacePolicy.pdf

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Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

Jennifer Gladstone

Posted By: Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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