Cannabis conversation in the NFL is growing

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields’s attorneys filed ‘not guilty’ pleas on his behalf in court Friday morning for two misdemeanor charges related to marijuana possession.

The criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News says last October Brown County drug investigators learned a package going through U.S. Mail may be related to drug activity, so they followed it to the address, where Shields opened the door holding what appeared to be a blunt, and proceeded to show investigators what appeared to be jars of marijuana and marijuana-laced candy and muffins (see related story).

This, and other recent cases, has restarted the conversation on marijuana use in the NFL for medicinal or other purposes.

“Cannabis, medical cannabis, is legal in 22 of the 32 cities where the NFL plays and so even if you’re simply following the law, the law in those states makes it so that those players could use cannabis for medical use,” said Dr. David Nathan, Founder of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.

The organization Doctors for Cannabis Regulation has on its team several retired and active NFL players looking to overturn the cannabis ban. Dr. Nathan believes players busted with marijuana shouldn’t face criminal charges.

“I think often the concern is that by tolerating cannabis use in the NFL or in society in general we are encouraging its use and that’s not the same thing,” said Dr. Nathan.

The Brown County Drug Task Force in the Shields case said it was just following the law.

“It’s still illegal here and it still causes harm here we still have issues with drug rips, and drug endangered children and like I said when we get complaints we’re going to investigate the complaints just like the law says we should do,” said Lt. Kevin Kinnard with the Brown County Drug Task Force.

Lt. Kinnard said they’re seeing a growing trend with marijuana getting transferred by mail.

“It’s kind of seen a transformation as cartel based and now the majority of it we see coming from the western states that legalized it,” said Kinnard.

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