CANTON, Ohio (TNS) — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones supports the NFL and its offer to work in tandem with the NFL Players Association to study the potential use of marijuana as a pain management tool for players, as reported by The Washington Post earlier this week.
The league's new approach follows Jones' efforts at the NFL owners meeting in April to lobby owners to drop the league's prohibition on marijuana use all together.
"I agree with what the NFL is doing," Jones said. "There is real fertile ground there. It is a labor issue that, like several things, not just that one, I understand the sensitivity about that particular issue. A lot of people would disagree it's a labor issue, but that's the way these things work. A lot of things get thrown in that hat. The fact we're discussing it, it's no secret the Players Association have wanted to discuss that area and do better in that area.
"I think that's accurate that we should have it as something to improve on. The problem I'm having here is I do not know what is the definition of improvement, but we can all do better here."
Asked specifically about marijuana testing, which Jones lobbied owners to ban in April, per NBC Pro Football Talk, he paused. He said it's more comprehensive than just that because of the changing social and moral views on the subject. It's an issue that has to be discussed in regards to the collective bargaining agreement with the players.
"I'm not going to define it," Jones said. "I really can't because we've never been in any real serious conversations about how to really discuss it, the parameters, I want to be real clear there. What I have said and feel is it's an area that has been a topic of consideration for many times with players, the Players Association. We should always look for ways to improve our game and improve our player performance or our players' standards or what our competitive, and I underline, what our competitive agreements are and this is one of them.
"This hits all of those areas. It's health. It's competitiveness. It hits the entire area. It's legal. It's social. It hits moral. This is all of those. You know that. I just want you to know I know that. That's a comprehensive approach to discussing something we should discuss."
Jones said that the needs to keep up with the changing attitudes of society regarding recreational and medical marijuana use. It is legal in Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Washington and Colorado, who all have or will have NFL teams with the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas in 2019.
Jones calls himself an agent of change as his thinking has evolved on the issue like the rest of society, especially with medical marijuana and pain management.
"I would say, no surprise, every discipline, every entity, business, sports, has to continually evolve with medical awareness as well as social awareness," Jones said. "That's what I see. This is one of those things that will be flavored by medical awareness, social awareness, moral awareness. All of this stuff.
"It's evolving, and it's a discussion that can be had now that couldn't have happened 10 years ago. Things have changed. Of anybody, I'm certainly am an agent for change."