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Le’Veon Bell: ‘Marijuana is not an important thing for me’

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Le’Veon Bell spoke for the first time since being hit with a three-game suspension on April 9 related to an August 2014 incident where he was arrested and charged with marijuana possession.

Speaking with ESPN’s Josina Anderson for a reported hour on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back referred to the entire ordeal as an “embarrassment” and said he hopes satisfying the conditions contained in his plea deal in December related to his criminal case could possibly reduce the punishment assessed by the NFL.

Bell was sentenced to 15 months probation as a first-time offender in February. He was ordered to pay a $100 fee, court costs and is required to remain drug and alcohol free. He also was ordered to complete a safe driving class and any treatment as recommended.

Bell insisted to Anderson — despite the charges stemming from his arrest (which also involved then-teammate LaGarrette Blount, as the two were en route to the airport for a team flight to a preseason game) — that marijuana is not a significant aspect of his life.

“Marijuana is not an important thing for me,” he said. “It’s something I easily can set by. If I wanted to do it later on down my life, I’ll enjoy it later on. It’s something that got me in trouble. Football is what I love. I love the game of football and nothing will come to jeopardize that.”

The fact that Bells adds that he is willing to wait until after his football career to smoke pot was a curious decision. Given some details of his arrest, though, perhaps it shouldn’t be taken as such.

Bell made some odd — albeit perhaps a bit too candid —  to police during his arrest about his confusion about DUI laws.

“I didn’t know you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago,” he said, according to the criminal complaint. “I’m not high anymore. I’m perfectly fine. Why would I be getting high if I had to make it to my game?”

All that aside, losing Bell for three games would be a huge blow to the Steelers offense heading into the 2015 campaign. In his second season, he rushed for 1,361 yards for eight touchdowns, also adding 83 receptions for 854 yards and three more TDs.