The trend of medicinal cannabis in the NFL has been a buzzing topic as of lately and now even some of the more ‘popular’ players, are voicing their opinion on the subject. It’s being brought up continuously, so you can only expect to hear all types of responses. It started with the commissioner, then to coaches and now players are sharing their views on the use of not only medicinal cannabis, but recreational use as well.
Ryan Clark a very well know Safety for the NFL tweeted the following after an interview on ESPN:
I don’t smoke marijuana. I won’t smoke marijuana. The NFL shouldn’t push marijuana but I’d be a fool to say that people don’t use it.
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) 6 februari 2014
And according to ESPN and clip I personally watched live last Thursday he furthermore said: “I know guys on my team who smoke, and it’s not a situation where you think, ‘Oh, these are guys trying to be cool.’ These are guys who want to do it recreationally. “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.’ Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it.”
Speaking of guys who are still going to do it, Antonio Cromartie a defensive Cornerback for the New York Jets feels the exact same way. In an interview he said: “They need to just let it go. [Players] just going to do it anyway. They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, ‘Ya’ll go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.'”
Cromartie wanted the public to know on twitter that he did not include himself in the players that he said were going to smoke anyways and tweeted the following:
The interview that I did on the weed policy, I never said We’re I said tht Players will smoke anyway. I don’t smoke so I don’t care about it
— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) 5 februari 2014
Not everyone has been positive on the use of marijuana. Former Quarterback and now NFL analyst for ESPN Mark Brunell explained that he also knew former teammates who also used marijuana but that they had mild negative affects long term for them. “There’s really no place for marijuana in the NFL,” Brunell said. “It is harmful. It hurts brain function. It hurts brain development. Marijuana can ruin lives. I’m very much against it.”
[quote_right]”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”[/quote_right]
Unfortunately his opinion is not the one we actually want to hear, but it would be naive to think that there isn’t a fair amount of people who oppose medicinal cannabis in NFL. Brunell even believes that the NFL is too lenient on the testing of banned substances, specifically cannabis use and thinks the league should test the players more often.
The fact of the matter is, there is no set hearing for a policy change on cannabis as a banned substance in the league. Once there is an opportunity for voting and more opinions, I’m sure we’ll hear more, then we can really see what direction the NFL is going to take on this. If we see cannabis policy change on a federal level, that would definitely mean change. The amount of players who are suspended for the use of any type of banned substances has increased each year from 2009 until now. I am certain that if cannabis is taken off this list of illegal substances, that number will instead decrease.