We all know that the National Football League (NFL) has banned numerous players for the use of marijuana due to the league’s strict substance ban and abuse policy. But this may no longer be the case in the near future. The head commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell has opened up to the Associated Press about his stance on the NFL and marijuana use since the successful legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado at the beginning of this year. According to ESPN reports, commissioner Goodell stated that he could envision a time when players could turn to marijuana to treat pain in states where medical marijuana has already been legalized: “I don’t know what’s going to develop as far as the next opportunity for medicine to evolve and to help either deal with pain or help deal with injuries, but we will continue to support the evolution of medicine.”
The major setback from this issue being pushed faster is the league’s 10 year collective bargaining agreement. Marijuana remains a prohibited drug under the NFL’s substance abuse policy and this agreement was last set in place in 2011 and isn’t set to expire until 2021. The loophole pointed out by Rt.com shows that the CBA only bans the “illegal use of marijuana, meaning a potential gray area exists concerning situations and states where legal and medical marijuana is permitted.”
In a sport where players are beat and battered week after week with pain, the NFL would be a prime example for the sports world in which medical cannabis could properly be used and regulated for the benefit of the players and sports as a whole. What do you think?