The updated list of banned substances in the NFL is a very lengthy one. One banned substance in particular on that list, however has been an extremely hot topic of discussion for YEARS now. As of late, due to the efforts of some outspoken current and ex NFL ballers, there has been a recent outcry for a possible removal of this substance from the list in the immediate future. It is (Medicinal) Marijuana.
Former NFL players RB Ricky Williams, TE Boo Williams, P Chris Kluwe, QB Jim McMahon, T Eben Britton, LB Mark Restelli, and T Kyle Turley have formed the ‘Gridiron Cannabis Coalition’. Starting as early as in 2015, these gentlemen have banned together in an effort to make the use of medicinal marijuana acceptable in the NFL.
Earlier this month, all 7 men were featured in a ‘public service announcement’ or commercial for the Netflix series ‘Disjointed’, starring legendary actress Kathy Bates.
The show is based on a cannabis dispensary located in a small plaza in Los Angeles, California. Apply named ‘Ruth’s Alternative Caring’, the store is run by an elder former hipster and marijuana advocate, Ruth ‘Whitefeather’ Feldman and her accomplished, entrepreneurial young son, Travis.
The announcement in it’s entirety runs only a minute and 19 seconds long. Each player takes time, giving a brief run down of who they are, some of what they’ve accomplished in their careers, and why they all partake in the usage of medicinal marijuana.
Towards the end of the announcement, they all partake in a personal shoutout to current NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in which they urge him to ‘get real’.
Many people, especially athletes, have the desire to use medicinal marijuana to cope with the aches and pains that they endure with their everyday life. Recreational use of marijuana still isn’t completely legal, but it has so far been legalized in 9 states (California, Alaska, Colorado, The District of Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada).
To be blunt, the players make very strong points in their reasoning as to why medicinal marijuana use should be acceptable in the NFL. A vast number of players have stated that marijuana calms and even at times, completely alleviates whatever physical or mental pain that they may endure. Many of them go on to say that is much safer than and in most cases, more efficient than the normal prescription drugs that may or have been issued to them in the past.
Another thing to put into perspective is the further rising epidemic of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the NFL. With over 100 cases (over 30 being ‘post mortem’ or after death) of CTE existing in an NFL players body being reported during a study conducted at the Boston University School of Medicine in late July of 2017, the NFL has become more aware and willing to go above and beyond to find as many ways as possible to avoid or even prevent this disease from continuing to transpire throughout the league.
Commissioner Roger Goodell made some rather interesting, yet derogatory comments about the situation. He stated in a press conference held on April 28, 2017 that marijuana ‘has an addictive nature’ and deemed it unsafe for NFL players.
Later that year in August, he had a slight change of heart. He stated that he is willing to attempt to learn about the benefits that medicinal marijuana can have on the league. Pain management being handled in a responsible way was by far his biggest (and only) concern.
The ban on medicinal marijuana could be over before you think. Don’t hold your breath, however. This has been a long battle that still requires a little more research and a lot more understanding from the head honcho of the NFL.
However, the players in the ‘commercial’ or announcement so to speak, the players conducted themselves in a very tasteful manner. It was a very geniune effort to spread the awareness of marijuana’s beneficial traits and thanks to one of the world’s most well known sites (YouTube), everyone who is anyone can view it and possibly get in on the movement. Hopefully this issue will no longer be an issue next season.