Friday morning April 28, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave an update on the leagues stance on marijuana use amongst players.
“Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? Listen, you’re ingesting smoke, so that’s not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term. All of those things have to be considered.”
These comments raise a number of questions. Which specific compounds in marijuana cause long term health issues? Does he realize that smoking is not the only way to consume marijuana?
“And it’s not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game,” he continued. “We really want to help our players in that circumstance, but I want to make sure that the negative consequences aren’t something that is something that we’ll be held accountable for some years down the road.”
It’s no secret that NFL players suffer numerous injuries throughout their career. When a player needs pain relief medication, they are loaded up on opioids which can be a real threat to their health. Marijuana would be a much safer alternative.
“So if people feel that it has a medical benefit, the medical advisers have to tell you that. We have joint advisers, we also have independent advisers, both the NFLPA and the NFL, and we’ll sit down and talk about that. But we’ve been studying that through our advisers. To date, they haven’t said this is a change we think you should make that’s in the best interests of the health and safety of our players. If they do, we’re certainly going to consider that. But to date, they haven’t really said that.”
With strong evidence supporting marijuana’s ability to treat chronic pain, and more than half the states legalizing medicinal marijuana, the NFL should reconsider their stance.