New York Jets Release Cornerback Tae Hayes Following Cannabis Possession Arrest In Alabama

Zinger Key Points
  • NFL's Tae Hayes arrested in Alabama for marijuana where he faces misdemeanor charges.
  • The NFL's cannabis policy is shifting, as the league funds research on CBD benefits for athletes' pain and lesions.

New York Jets cornerback Tae Hayes was arrested and charged with possession of a small amount of cannabis over the weekend. Hayes spent a short time in a jail in Alabama between Saturday night and Sunday morning where he was booked then released on a $300 bond.

The New York Jets responded initially to the incident stating, “We are aware of the situation, and we will refrain from further comment as it is a pending legal matter.” However, Jets team reporter Ethan Greenberg reported Monday afternoon that “The Jets have released CB Tae Hayes.” No explanation followed.

The Penalty

As a result of the arrest, Hays faces a charge of second-degree marijuana possession, a misdemeanor in Alabama, reported by AL.com. The charge could entail a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000, although lesser sentences like probation are common for first-time offenders.

Shifting Sands: NFL's Cannabis Policy

The NFL’s approach to cannabis use and possession has changed significantly. Starting in 2021, the league began allowing players a single cannabis test annually before training camp. Since then, testing positive carries a reduced penalty. In 2023, the NFL and its players’ union funded two research grants, each over $500,000, to explore the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids. One of them is particularly focused on CBD as an alternative to opioids for pain management and concussion treatments.

Early advances in this research recognize the benefits of CBD as an anti-inflammatory, which underscores the particular benefits cannabis use offers for physically demanding sports such as football.

Cannabis rescheduling seems to be right around the corner. Want to understand what this means for the future of the industry? Hear directly for top executives, investors, and policymakers at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, coming to Chicago this Oct. 8-9. Get your tickets now before prices surge by following this link.

Cannabis Advocacy And Entrepreneurship Within The NFL

There are many reasons why the NFL players use cannabis, most of which have to do with health and wellbeing.

Change in attitude among the league has been slow to happen. They are more likely influenced by cannabis advocacy and entrepreneurship within the football community. Players and former players advocate for cannabis as a natural alternative for managing conditions common in both active and retired athletes. These conditions include chronic pain, PTSD, and depression. Some of those ailments are treated with opioids, which are both addictive and come with various side effects.

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Cannabis rescheduling seems to be right around the corner

Want to understand what this means for the future of the industry? Hear directly for top executives, investors and policymakers at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, coming to Chicago this Oct. 8-9. Get your tickets now before prices surge by following this link.