It has turned into a hot topic in the National Football League over the past few weeks: Should NFL players have access to marijuana? Currently, marijuana is illegal on a federal level and is classified as a schedule 1 drug by the United States Government. Despite all of the negative attention that has been associated with marijuana, it is legal in 20 states throughout the nation and in the District of Columbia.
In addition to marijuana being illegal in the United States, it is also on the NFL’s banned substance list. However, time after time we have seen NFL players either admitting to the fact that they use or arrested for possession. In fact, just a few months back Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling were arrested on separate accounts for possession of marijuana. I think it is safe to say that the secret is out – NFL players smoke marijuana.
There have been many doctors and scientist who have come out in support of marijuana. People who have years of practice in their professions. People who have actually conducted experiments and research on both the benefits and negatives of marijuana. There have never been any problems associated with marijuana and someone’s health. One of the more popular doctors, Sanjay Gupta recently made a documentary on the benefits of marijuana that was aired on CNN. The documentary is called “Weed”.
A lot of players like to use marijuana in order to deal with the pain that comes with being a NFL player. Almost every day of the week these guys are going out and putting their bodies on the line. Yes, they know what they’re getting themselves into, but honestly, who cares? Especially if it’s not doing any significant harm to their bodies and it’s making them feel better.
Yesterday, Ryan Clark of the Pittsburgh Steelers was on various ESPN shows throughout the day and the topic of whether or not marijuana should be available to the players came up quite a lot. “I know guys on my team who smoke,” Clark said. “A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, ‘If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.” He ultimately concluded his statement with “Guys are still going to do it.”
Ryan Clark hasn’t been the only NFL player to recently come out saying that they believe marijuana should be available to the players. New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie was actually one of the first players to voice his opinion on this topic. In an interview with This Is 50, Cromartie said “They need to just let it go. We’re just going to do it anyway.” Cromartie later voiced on his Twitter account that he does not smoke marijuana.
As of right now the National Football League is not considering changing their drug policy. “We’ll continue to follow the medicine,” Goodell said this past Friday during one of the final Super Bowl press conference. “Our experts right now are not indicating that we should change our policy in any way. We are not actively considering that at this point in time. But if it goes down the road sometime, that’s something that we would never take off the table.” Goodell is certainly not feeling the pressure when it comes to making a decision on this very popular topic. Instead, Goodell commented on other topics such as improving replay, playoff expansion and the code of conduct policy.
Although Roger Goodell seemed pretty adamant in his statements, this is definitely being turned into a big deal by the media. Will the NFL end up doing something about this in the future? Absolutely. But for now, I don’t see them taking any affirmative action on this topic. However, it will without a doubt continue to be a talked about.
Do I think marijuana should be available for the players? Yes. It will provide the players with a natural medicine that they can use to help relax their bodies and ease their pain that they have due to football. Sure, not all of the players are going to use it for only medicinal purposes, but like Cromartie and Clark said, they’re going to do it anyways. If the players want to smoke marijuana, then they should be allowed to. It is significantly better for you than the Vicodin that a lot of players are taking as painkillers. We have seen players suffer from addiction and overdose from these prescription pills that are being given to them. You can’t overdose from using marijuana and it isn’t going to do any damage to their health. However, I believe that as long as it remains illegal on a federal level, the NFL will not change their policy. That’s just my opinion. What do you guys think, should the NFL change their drug policy in regards to marijuana or keep it how it is?