A poll conducted by ESPN found a majority of NFL-player respondents thought marijuana was more dangerous than alcohol. But the question was framed in a seemingly odd way. The survey asked, “Do you agree with President Obama that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol?” Rather than focus on how marijuana use impacts players, the survey sought to find out how many players agreed with the president’s position.
When three-quarters of the respondents concurred with Obama, ESPN wrote a glowing report of the players’ affection for the President. “When President Barack Obama said earlier this year that he does not think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, his words resonated with NFL players,” an ESPN article states. “In siding with Obama on the marijuana issue, the NFL players surveyed are essentially saying they believe the punishment does not fit the crime. That’s perhaps even more understandable in places such as Denver and Seattle, as the two teams that played in the last Super Bowl are located in states where recreational marijuana is legal in certain amounts.” The article mentions the comment the president made to The New Yorker earlier this year, without pointing out that the president also told the magazine, “I would not let my son play pro football.”
As an afterthought, the article mentions Cleveland Browns standout receiver Josh Gordon’s season-long suspension for a positive marijuana test. Gordon is reportedly pursuing legal action against the league because of its disciplinary action. Fortunately for ESPN’s readers, the article does note that Obama “does not set or enforce NFL policy.”