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Yes: The NFL Should Authorize Medical Marijuana

Twenty-eight states have already legalized medical marijuana, but the country’s leading entertainment industry still has a ban on weed, even though studies have proven that medical marijuana has been able to heal and relieve pain. It could even help prevent concussions and CTE.  Finally, alcohol has been proven to be worse for you than marijuana.

So, why doesn’t the NFL legalize this helpful drug? Well, on February 5, 2016, Roger Goodell (Commissioner of the NFL) stated, “It’s an NFL policy and we believe it’s the correct policy, for now, in the best interest of our players and the long-term health of our players.”  If this statement is true, that marijuana is detrimental to the long-term health of people, then it seems reasonable to keep the ban. But, his statement is false. What is destructive to long-term health, as well as short-term health, is playing football.

The NFL is arguably the most physical and contact-filled sport, and in order to cope with injuries, players currently uses powerfully addictive opioids as painkillers. These drugs have created many problems for retired players, including Kyle Turley, who said that he became addicted to, “Vicodin, Flexeril, Percocets, Vioxx, Morphine,” which were given to him as a player.  The prescription drugs led to his depression and suicidal thoughts. Only once he stopped taking the drugs and began consuming marijuana did he begin to feel better. Marijuana probably saved his life from suicide, and possibly even the lives of the people around Turley.

After the election, eight states legalized the use of medicinal weed, and in response, some former NFL players are petitioning the league to allow pot to be used as a painkiller.  The painkillers that the NFL administers to their players are extremely unhealthy and often overdosed, so it is very important to find a solution. Right now, whether you like it or not, the answer is marijuana. The organization is the most popular form of entertainment (not including the 2016 Presidential Election/Debates), and if there is a constant absence of popular players, the NFL’s TV ratings would go down. In the NFL, teams will do whatever they can to keep their players on the field, even if it means malpractice from the team doctors.

"[Team doctors] were giving [painkillers] out like candy. If you were hurting you could get ’em,” Calvin Johnson stated in an E:60 interview. The NFL will do anything to get their players back on the field, even if it means crippling them.  The “candy” that is administered by the doctors does much more harm than good, compared to marijuana, which has been proven to help cure and treat many diseases effectively.

Weed should be legalized in the NFL as a medicine.  Leading medical researchers, such as from John Hopkins University, have proved the benefits of medical marijuana. Because football is extremely physical, players need all the help they can get without increasing their already-high risk of disease and pain in retirement. Therefore, Roger Goodell should address this controversial issue and carefully examine the benefits of medical marijuana. 

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