NFL star sues league over positive drug test

nfl drug test

The vast majority of professional sports leagues have eased up on cannabis in the past few years, reducing or even eliminating tests for THC. In the NFL, marijuana screening typically occurs during training camp. Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce recently said up to 80 percent of NFL players smoke weed. While many of these athletes are likely using pot recreationally, one player is arguing the league violated his rights by fining him for medical consumption.

Defensive end Randy Gregory has filed a lawsuit against the Denver Broncos (his former team) and the NFL, stemming from over $500,000 in cannabis-related fines levied against him in 2023. Gregory, who is suing under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, is arguing in the suit that he uses cannabis to treat anxiety and PTSD. He claims he requested accommodation from Broncos officials after his physician recommended Dronabinol, a synthetic form of cannabis, to ease his conditions.

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“The NFL and the Broncos denied his request, noting that THC is a federally controlled substance. Since requesting an accommodation, Mr. Gregory has paid $532,500 in penalties to the NFL for consuming THC to treat his disabilities,” the complaint says. 

The suit notes that regardless of a positive test, the NFL still required Gregory to play in scheduled games, attend practice, and make regular media appearances. The lawsuit alleges that the Broncos should have accommodated Gregory’s medical request and excused him from league-imposed fines.

It’s unclear whether the lawsuit will have its day in court, as civil cases like this are often settled under procedures agreed upon in the players’ Collective Bargaining Agreement. However, if the case does proceed and Gregory wins, it could have a ripple effect in professional sports. Recognizing that marijuana can be used as a medicine alongside traditional pharmaceuticals and offering protections for those who do would be a welcome change for advocates and patients alike.

rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter