I’ve been wondering a lot – can you smoke weed in the NFL? Well, after much research I have to confess that I’m still on the fence. Even knowing the risks, I have to opt for “no” on this one.
I get it. Professional athletes have a ton of stress with long practices, grueling training, and all the expectations that come along with it. Many have even expressed that cannabis has helped them cope. But that kind of leniency isn’t actually allowed when it comes to the NFL.
At the end of the day, marijuana is still an illicit drug. It’s still a Schedule 1 drug according to the DEA, and that means that the NFL will treat it just like any other banned substance. So, using it when you’re playing can get you into some pretty deep trouble.
Players can be fined, suspended, or even expelled for violating the NFL’s policies. Keep in mind, it’s not just the likes of Richard Sherman, wholesale jerseys from china Tom Brady, or Rob Gronkowski that will be under scrutiny if they use marijuana. All the players in the entire league are subject to random drug testing at any point during the year.
Though, I also understand that some of the players may need medical cannabis for chronic pain management or PTSD, and they might have prescriptions in states where it’s legal. That can sometimes get confusing as to whether using cannabis with a prescription wholesale jerseys from china your doctor is acceptable or still breaks U.S. anti-drug laws.
To make things even more complicated, the NFL allows its players to use THC in states where it’s legal, as long as they’re registered with the NFL’s drug policy and don’t violate the policy. The caveat is that players are tested for any banned substances throughout the year, and if they test positive then they can still get in trouble no matter the circumstance.
It’s also important to consider that under current health care laws, the NFL has to cover a majority of the players’ medical bills. All that to say, if the NFL or NFL Players’ Association discovers that an athlete is using cannabis, even if it’s legally prescribed, then the league must piggyback onto the existing health care laws and ask whether their marijuana usage is impairing their performance.
While it’s unlikely that taking a few puffs of marijuana will render someone so impaired that they completely forget how to play football, the league still holds its players to a high standard and cannabidiol might be used as an in-game performance booster.
And of course, there’s the matter of how cannabis use would be perceived by fans, sponsors, and the broader public. Many people still think that cannabis use is just for people who want to get high and party. It’s a stigma that needs to be broken, and until it is marijuana use of any kind in the NFL just doesn’t seem like a plausible option.
We can look at other big league organizations for similar opinions. The MLB and NBA have also banned marijuana use among its players. Mental health issues, post-game stress, and relentless training condition lead many athletes to explore cannabis as a solution, but without a shift in policy it still won’t be acceptable by the rules of the league.
I admit, it’s a tough situation to be in if you’re an athlete in the NFL who needs to find a way to cope with their pain or mental health. I don’t think any of us are for completely banning cannabis use among players as a solution for all of their ailments, but I think it should really be a case-by-case decision.
At the same time, I understand why the NFL and other leagues are so strict when it comes to marijuana usage and why they are hesitant to make any major changes to the policy. It’s a controlled substance in the United States and using it when you’re a professional athlete carries some serious repercussions.
I get that it’s a controversial topic, but I think it’s still something worth talking about. When it comes down to it, even if the leagues are trying to protect their players it’s essential for them to also look for ways to help them. Players need to recognize the issues they face and look for a constructive form of release.
I’m not so sure marijuana could really be the answer, but if it’s introduced as an option for athletes in the NFL and other leagues then it should be considered carefully. It might just be the difference between a successful season and a failed one if the players are allowed to use cannabis in a responsible way.