The past seven days have turned into a favorable week for 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster. Two days after a California judge dismissed Foster of all domestic abuse charges stemming from a February incident, he was cleared of all marijuana charges from a separate, January arrest. Obviously, a much lesser charge, but an important victory for the San Francisco defender, nonetheless.
Reuben Foster Cleared
Foster’s charges were dropped after the linebacker completed a diversion program, complete with an educational program and periodic drug tests. In addition to the program, Foster also paid for his court fees, along with the required $100 bond.
While Foster participated in the 49ers workout program for the first time this past week, he still may face suspension from the league. Although his charges have been officially dropped, he still, technically, broke the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
However, it remains unclear whether or not Foster was already part of the league’s substance abuse program. Last year, Foster failed a drug test during the NFL scouting combine, something he chalked up to a ‘diluted sample.’ If Foster was an incumbent member, his marijuana arrest could result in a suspension.
If Foster does draw the ire of the league, it’s unlikely he will be forced to serve anything longer than a four-game ban. The most likely scenario for Foster would be a two-game suspension, but if the league determines Foster was Stage 2 violator of the program (meaning a second strike), he could get the league-mandated four-game ban.
In addition to his recent marijuana charges, Reuben Foster could also face discipline from a gun-possession charge from his separate, February incident. However, that also seems unlikely, considering the charge was dropped from a felony to a misdemeanor after a Santa Clara County judge determined that Foster’s short-barreled rifle was purchased legally and wasn’t used threateningly.
49ers Linebacker Reuben Foster Had Marijuana Case Dismissed
While the legal news is certainly good news for Foster, again, it remains to be seen how the NFL deals with the incident internally. The league possesses one of the most stringent cannabis policies in all of the professional sports, despite players, both current and former, clamoring for the usage of the plant for medicinal purposes. The NFL has begun studying the use of the plant for pain management, and a potential solution for the league’s concussion issue, but it’s unclear when the league will soften its stance for recreational use. In our opinion, the sooner the better.