Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Raiders Sign Player Who Quit over NFL's Marijuana Policy

The Las Vegas Raiders have signed former Dallas Cowboy David Irving, 27, who announced he was quitting the NFL last year in opposition to the league's drug policy, "particularly in regard to marijuana," reported ESPN. 

Irving was suspended indefinitely for violating NFL's substance abuse policy in 2019, and now is back under "provisional" reinstatement, while he is being tested for COVID.  In March, the NFL's level of THC triggering a positive test was increased fourfold from 35 to 150 ng/ml, among other policy reforms negotiated by the NFL Players Association. 

On Instagram, where he announced his resignation from football, Irving calls himself an "NFL Player turned Cannabis Activist." He told Sports Illustrated in February, "I've been smoking since I was in middle school. Always had a 3.0 GPA. Never had any trouble with the law."  He added that cannabis could help the NFL with its CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) problem. 

"I know the perception people have of me is that I'm some sort of gangsta, homeless pothead," Irving told SI. "But I gave up football for a bigger cause. I want to change the bias toward marijuana. I want to educate America that it's not a drug, it's medicine."

Koala Puffss poses with Irving backstage at @420.movie
"We are a group of young activists about to change the world," Irving wrote to caption a picture with cannabis merchandiser and filmmaker @koala.puffss, both of them wearing T-shirts from Cannabis Passport, the "world's first rolling paper magazine" whose motto even rhymes: "The only travel documents you need to reach far away places and new headspaces." Irving demonstrates in a video on their website.  (I think Rick Steves should get Passport #1.)

A pass rusher on the defensive line, Irving is 6'7" and weighs 290 lbs. Yet he's such a sweetheart he posted a picture on Instagram with his daughter along with the words, "I always find myself lost for words when trying to write a caption when ZoĆ« is involved. Words could never explain how much I love her."

Irving's story could be compared to that of Ricky Williams, the Heisman trophy–winner who told the NFL to piss off in 2004 after announcing that cannabis was better medicine for his Social Anxiety Disorder than Paxil, for which he once stumped. Due to the hard work of cannabis activists everywhere, and brave players who are standing up for their rights, football is now welcoming Irving back. 

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