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Busted for Pot, Blount and Bell Suspended by NFL

Super Bowl winning RB LeGarrette Blount will have to sit out the opening game of the 2015 season because of a pot bust.

Running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were pulled over by a motorcycle cop at 1:30 pm on Aug. 20 after he smelled marijuana coming from their Camaro while stopped at a red light in Ross Township, Pennsylvania (15 miles north of Pittsburgh). At the time, both were members of the Steelers. A bag containing 22 grams was found in the glove box. Both were charged with possession.

Neither of the players were placed in handcuffs or a holding cell after the police encounter. Summones were issued. Bell, who was driving, had his blood drawn at a hospital and also receivd a DUI. Pennsylvania has a "zero-tolerance" per se DUI law, meaning any amount of marijuana metabolites can trigger a DUI.

State Sen. Daylin Leach: 'If these guys were out for a beer no one would care, but they're out for an evening with a more benign, less dangerous drug. I think we need a more rational drug policy like they have in Colorado, Washington and soon in many more states.'

Blount Update: After the arrest, Blount was released and resigned by New England. On Dec. 10, he agreed to perform 50 hours of community service in exchange for the misdemeanor charge being dropped. On Apr. 7, the NFL announced Blount's suspension for the first game of the 2015 season.

Totaling 772 yards and seven TDs, he helped lead the Pats to victory in Super Bowl XLIX. The Oregon grad played his first three seasons with Tampa Bay, where he amassed 1,007 yards in 2010. The Steelers signed him in March 2014.

Bell Update: Bell has received a three-game suspension, which he appealed. On July 28, the NFL reduced the suspension to two games. “Le’Veon was charged with a DUI - two-game suspension; and possession of marijuana - one-game suspension and one-game fine,” explains NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis. “LeGarrette was not the driver, so [he was] only charged with possession - one-game suspension and one-game fine.”

Drafted in the second round out of Michigan State, Bell ran for 860 yards and eight TDs in his rookie season with the Steelers. He had a breakout All-Pro sophomore year, with 1,361 yards and eight more touchdowns.

Chris Goldstein

Chris Goldstein

Co-chair of PhillyNORML and writes about marijuana at philly.com