Senator Klein to NFL: Tackle K2 Use

On Super Bowl Weekend Klein Urges Roger Goodell to test players for synthetics after rash of arrests and problems stemming from synthetic cannabinoid use

NEW YORK, NY — As the country heads into Super Bowl Sunday, State Senator Jeff Klein (D- Bronx/Westchester) called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to set a national example by expanding current drug testing of professional football players to include synthetic cannabinoids. In a letter to Goodell, Senator Klein pointed to the increasing problem of players using K2, because most drug screens fail to test for the chemical compounds.

“The NFL must tackle the problem of K2 use among its players who are role models to our youth and test for these drugs. Synthetic cannabinoids are dangerous, sometimes lethal, and have no place in professional sports and players are sending the wrong message to those who look up to them. The league must take a page out of the New York State Senate’s playbook. We just took serious steps to stop the scourge of synthetics that sent over 6,800 of our citizens to emergency rooms last year. We urge the NFL to do the right thing for the safety of of their players and those they inspire,” said Senator Klein.

Recent reports across the nation have detailed multiple arrests of professional football players for using drugs like synthetic marijuana, K2 or Spice, with other instances ending in trips to the hospital for the highly trained athletes.

In January, the hospitalization of the New England Patriots’ Chandler Jones was reported as a result of K2 use, while Seattle Seahawks player Derrick Coleman recently revealed that he had used K2 prior to committing a hit-and-run in October.

College athletic programs have already taken steps to incorporate synthetic marijuana into their banned substances and drug testing programs. The NCAA added it to its list of banned substances in 2011, and the National Center for Drug-Free Sport offers testing resources to combat this problem.