Former Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy pleaded no contest to marijuana possession of no more than 20 grams — a first-degree misdemeanor — on Thursday after initially being arrested for felony possession earlier this year. Purifoy accepts punishment that includes no jail time and no trial.

He will need to pay $1,000 in fines and $291 in court fees to the Alachua County Clerk of Court by Dec. 1.

Purifoy will not serve probation, and under judge Walter Green’s decision to withhold adjudication, he will not be formally convicted of any criminal offenses as long as he pays what he owes.

With the legal fallout behind him, Purifoy now faces a different form of punishment from the NFL.

“He is in the NFL substance abuse program, which is much more exacting and much more comprehensive than anything he would ever be required to complete here in Florida,” Purifoy’s defense attorney Stephen Stanfield told alligatorSports Monday. “Frankly, I would love if indigent defendants had the opportunity to participate in such a program. It’s so comprehensive, it’s what we would want as a society.”

Stanfield highlighted Purifoy’s draft day slide from third-round projection to undrafted free agent status — and the forfeiture of “hundreds of thousands of dollars” that came with it. Stanfield said Purifoy was flown to a different city “every weekend” as part of the substance abuse program leading up the NFL season when he would rather be enjoying himself in his new city of Indianapolis, Ind.

Stanfield declined to discuss any further specifics about what Purifoy went through with the NFL, citing attorney-client privilege. Stanfield said that no penalty at the state or local level compared with the nature of the NFL’s substance abuse program.

Purifoy was allegedly caught with marijuana and synthetics commonly referred to as “bath salts” in March.

The Gainesville Sun reported in April that after agreeing to become an informant with a drug task force the night of his initial arrest, Purifoy avoided investigators, prompting the Alachua County Sheriff's Office to file a sworn complaint resulting in an arrest warrant. But the warrant was quashed, prompting Sheriff Sadie Darnell to request an internal affairs investigation about the case.

This is his second marijuana-related offense — in 2013 Purifoy was cited for marijuana possession of less than 20 grams — but the charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.

Additional priors for the now Indianapolis Colts defensive back include 2012 traffic citations for not wearing a seatbelt and a failure to display registration. He also faced a traffic citation in 2013 for driving with a passenger under 18 who was not wearing a seat belt in the passenger seat.

Follow Richard Johnson on Twitter @RagjUF

(1) comment

Storm Crow

I believe that post-game cannabis use should be mandatory for all athletes at risk for concussions! Besides easing pain, cannabinoids can protect the brain in cases of brain trauma! See “Marijuana Bowl: Leading Up To Football's Biggest Game, The NFL May Want to Consider Legalizing Weed As Way To Treat Concussions” (Medical Daily), “Cannabinoids As Neuroprotective Agents in Traumatic Brain Injury” (PubMed), “Cannabis Responsive Head Injury Induced Mutiple Disabilities: A Case Report (scirp), “Low Doses of THC (Cannabis) Can Halt Brain Damage, Study Suggests” (Science Daily) and “How hash became a smash in brain trauma research” (maps).

Brain trauma has led to the suicides of several athletes and permanent disability for many more - that is a fact. The studies and articles above suggest that cannabis use may help brains to heal better, and, hopefully, prevent such tragic suicides from happening again. It just seems insane to punish our athletes for using a herbal medicine that can protect their brains!

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