MAR 07, 2019 6:54 PM PST

NFL to Allow Players to Use Marijuana?

WRITTEN BY: Amy Loriaux

In a rare concession from the National Football League, officials are preparing to make changes to its substance abuse policy in its next Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The NFL has begun to realize the futility of keeping all players from using marijuana. Especially for teams in the legal states. At the next CBA, we may see a reflection of that sentiment from the league.

Photo source: UnSplash.com

According to NBC Sports ProFootballTalk, the league has been considering this as far as two years ago, when former football player Eben Britton stated that he believed that the league would use marijuana as a “bargaining chip” in CBA negotiations. The details of the concessions aren’t known. A complete abandonment (and implicit legalization) of marijuana is possible, but if the league goes in that direction it would need to have a procedure in place for players who are charged criminally with marijuana-related offenses in the states where marijuana continues to be banned.

The issue of NFL players using marijuana is more than a matter of easing up on substance use regulations but is a rather serious matter. To combat the pain that comes from playing one of the roughest sports in America the use of opioids in players has skyrocketed. According to The Washington Post, a culture of prescription drug use and misuse exists, following players from the locker room on into retirement. Coaching staffs are partly to blame, with uneven oversight and a lack of uniform guidelines. 

What is worse, some NFL teams either flouted or were ignorant of Drug Enforcement Agency laws governing the dispensing of painkillers. Furthermore, in a study of about 500 players, one in four said he felt pressure from team doctors to take medication, even if he felt uncomfortable with it. This culture of "play at whatever the cost" has led to many retired players continuing to use dangerous painkillers. For example, many retired players administered the controversial painkiller, Toradol, were still using it long after they had left the field.

Photo source: UnSplash.com

In the face of the opioid epidemic, the NFL can no longer avoid the truth about their questionable pain treatment routine. Nor can they also ignore the sport's connection to another epidemic: traumatic brain injury. With evidence coming in about cannabis's possible anti-inflammatory effects, it appears that there are two prongs of which the pro-marijuana side can use to bolster their case.

As stated in ProFootBallTalk, the NFL will have to be very precise about how they approach this issue. If it is a matter of whether or not you are in a legal state, then there is a (likely) possibility that many free agents will turn to teams in states where it’s legal. To avert this possibility, the league may have to settle for removing marijuana from the list of banned recreational drugs.

Sources: profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, TheFreshToast.com, The Washington Postwww.rxlist.com, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research

About the Author
  • I currently work at a small CRO involved in clinical trial management.
You May Also Like
JAN 22, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
JAN 22, 2020
People Struggling with Pain Also Struggle with Cannabis Use Disorder
The hype in the media that surrounds cannabis and health benefits supposedly associated with its use may be detrimental ...
FEB 07, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
FEB 07, 2020
First HBCU Joins CBD Trade in Louisiana
While recreational marijuana remains illegal in Louisiana, the state has made some provisions for medical marijuana use, ...
APR 15, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
APR 15, 2020
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms in 47% Who Quit Cannabis
As cannabis has become more and more popular for both medical and recreational use, researchers are increasingly able to ...
APR 16, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
APR 16, 2020
Nanoemulsion Speeds up THC Absorption in Edibles
Cannabis products infused with nanoemulsion boast many advantages over more traditionally manufactured edibles, and are ...
APR 17, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
APR 17, 2020
Does CBD Really Ease Arthritis Pain?
Cannabis products are increasingly used to treat chronic pain from arthritis. As its non psychoactive ingredient, cannab ...
MAY 08, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
MAY 08, 2020
Why Your Dreams Get More Intense When You Quit Cannabis
Upon quitting cannabis, many notice their dreams become a lot more vivid and intense. But why?  To answer that ques ...
Loading Comments...