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NFL wants to join union in marijuana research: report

© GETTY/AFP/File | The NFL currently bans any taking of marijuana

WASHINGTON (AFP) - 

NFL officials have reached out to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) hoping to work with the union on its study of marijuana as a potential pain management drug, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The NFL currently bans any taking of marijuana, but the league sent a letter to the NFLPA stating it wants to join the union's research on the subject, the newspaper reported.

The NFLPA has not said whether or not it will work jointly with the league.

"We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players," NFL executive vice president of communications Joe Lockhart told The Post.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told The Post in January that the union was working upon a proposal to soften the harsh punishments for players who use the drug.

"I do think that issues of addressing it more in a treatment and less punitive measure is appropriate," Smith said.

"I think it's important to look at whether there are addiction issues. And I think it's important to not simply assume recreation is the reason it's being used."

NFL players who test positive for more than 35 nanograms per milliliter of tetrahydrocannabinol, a substance known commonly as "THC" found in marijuana, must enter an intervention program.

League penalties include fines and bans ranging from two games to a full season.

Marijuana is illegal under US federal law, but several states have decriminalized marijuana and still more have approved it for medical uses to ease pain.

© 2017 AFP