The NFL has added synthetic marijuana to the list of banned substances within the league’s 2016 drug policy.
The league and the NFL Players Association announced Wednesday that a key change included: “Synthetic Marijuana — known by the names Spice, K2 and Blaze, among others — has been added to the standard testing panel.”
Synthetic marijuana is most commonly made by spraying chemicals on dried and shredded plant material. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it may affect the brain more powerfully and unpredictably than traditional marijuana.
The league’s drug policy is developed jointly by the NFL and the NFLPA. Nine drugs, including cocaine, PCP and traditional marijuana, are part of the NFL’s standard testing for performance-enhancing drugs. Now synthetic marijuana can be tested.
In January, former New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, who is now with the Arizona Cardinals, arrived at a Foxborough, Mass., police station seeking help for a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana. He was soon transported to a local hospital but returned to work at the Patriots’ facility the next day.
Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman took synthetic marijuana prior to a hit-and-run car accident near the team’s facility last October, according to a Bellevue, Wash., police report. Police said Coleman left the scene barefoot with witnesses describing him as “delirious and aggravated” and “incoherent.”
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