A National Football League player is facing significant prison time after federal agents said they found a staggering amount of marijuana in his vehicle.
Greg Robinson, an offensive lineman who played last season for the Cleveland Browns, was in a Texas jail on Wednesday after getting booked by the Drug Enforcement Administration at a checkpoint near the El Paso-Mexico border. The agents say they found 157 pounds of weed in the rented vehicle that was carrying Robinson and two other individuals.
According to media reports, Robinson and fellow passenger Jaquan Tyreke Bray were charged with possession of marijuana with the intention to sell. ESPN reported that Robinson, Bray and the third person who was not identified “were driving from Los Angeles to Louisiana in a rented sport utility vehicle on Interstate 10 through a remote section of West Texas on Monday. When they passed a Border Patrol agent with a drug-sniffing dog, the dog detected the scent of marijuana. The agent radioed ahead to the patrol’s checkpoint near Sierra Blanca, Texas, 83 miles southeast of El Paso.”
In the subsequent inspection, the agents found “several large duffel bags containing vacuum-sealed black bags containing what tested positive as marijuana,” as well as “glass jars and packaging equipment, along with $3,100 in cash,” according to ESPN. The unidentified passenger was reportedly “an Uber driver who also drove and ran errands for Robinson and his family and friends,” and who “showed agents cell phone texts that showed Robinson had offered to pay the passenger to claim ownership of the marijuana” and that the “texts showed the passenger refused and would not have made the trip if aware of the drugs in the vehicle.” As such, that individual was not charged.
The NFL and Cannabis
Robinson, a former top draft pick, may struggle to land a job next season even if he escapes jail time. A source told ESPN that the Browns had already informed him that they would not be re-signing him, making him a free agent. But a penalty from the NFL also almost certainly awaits. While other professional sports leagues are rethinking their policies on marijuana, the NFL maintains a strict ban on the drug.
In December, Major League Baseball unveiled a new policy that reclassifies marijuana in a way that it is treated no differently than alcohol. Under the new policy, players may be referred to voluntary treatment, but will no longer face a formal punishment for using pot, opening the door for players in both the major and minor leagues to use marijuana to treat injuries without the prospect of discipline from the league office.