“The NFL could definitely benefit from medical marijuana,” said Elle, an employee at The Clinic Colorado whose last name was withheld, in a telephone interview with The Guilfordian.
In an interview with USA Today, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the NFL has not ruled out the use of medicinal marijuana for concussions and other head injuries.
“If they legalize, it should be for retired players who sustained significant injuries,” said junior football player Josh Williams.
Marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes in 20 states. The NFL has 10 franchises in those states.
If and when marijuana is proven to be beneficial to injured NFL players, it should be legalized to the full extent for medical usage.
“There are many unknown facts about the effects of medical marijuana yet to be discovered,” said James Barnhill, a sophomore EMS student at Guilford Technical Community College in an interview with The Guilfordian.
But the facts must be there for 20 states to have legalized the cash crop for therapeutic use.
“CBD, or cannabidiol, can reduce swelling or inflammation in patients,” said Elle. “Being that a concussion can consist of brain swelling and severe headaches, it appears that CBD may help reduce inflammation in concussion victims.”
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis.
The NFL still has a stern grip on the marijuana policy today. There is a zero-tolerance rule, even if pot is permitted in the player’s state.
Seattle Seahawk cornerback Brandon Browner missed out on playing in Super Bowl XLVIII after testing positive for marijuana in December.
What if the NFL were to turn a leaf and legalize?
“It could definitely help the recovery process,” said Barnhill. “However, there are a lot of variables yet to be discovered.”
The NFL does not want to be a direct representative of marijuana, and it certainly does not want to be to blame for a new era of potheads.
“If NFL players were allowed to smoke, then kids and teens would want to smoke as well,” said Ryan Scanlan, a junior at Chowan University in an interview with the Guilfordian. “They look up to the players as role models.”
For the NFL to approve medical marijuana, they would need to see the direct effect. This could turn out to be a timely process.
However, Goodell is willing to change the drug policy if it benefits a healthier league.
“We’ll continue to follow medicine,” said Goodell according to the Bleacher Report. “That’s something we would never take off the table if we could benefit our players at the end of the day.”
The NFL has not changed their policy thus far, but at least they are considering the move.
Medicinal marijuana is legal in nearly half the nation already for its wide variety of benefits. Legalizing marijuana in the NFL would be as highly beneficial as it has been to cancer, glaucoma and seizure patients.