In the past few weeks, the relationship between medical marijuana and various sports industries has gotten more complicated, particularly when it comes to the NFL.
Two weeks ago, the NFL suspended a Buffalo Bills player for using medical marijuana to treat his Crohn’s disease. Many supporters said that with medical marijuana now being available in more states than not, the NFL needs to re-evaluate its position on using the drug for treating illness.
During this same time period, several coaches of different sports teams have come out stating that they have used medical marijuana in the past for a chronic condition, and that they believe their players deserve the ability to use it without suspension if they have an illness that calls for it.
Recently, Deadspin published an article on the growing need for NFL players to have access to medical marijuana. Indeed, few careers put as much of a toll on the body as being a pro football player, and there are very few safe ways of eliminating the aches and pains that come along with years of being tackled to the ground.
Unfortunately, it looks as though this issue might continue until the entire United States legalizes medical marijuana—as with the traveling teams, things could get legally dicey if a player were to use medical marijuana prescribed from a state where it was legal in one where it was illegal–something the NFL is not eager to tussle with. This is a bigger problem because out of every sports league, the NFL has the toughest penalties for using medical marijuana, which have ruined many players’ careers over the years.
But this can’t continue. People who engaging in brutal, punishing physical actions daily cannot be reliant solely on pills and opioids in treating their condition. Hopefully the NFL will revisit its policy on medical marijuana sooner rather than later.