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Should The NFL Consider Allowing Players To Use Marijuana For Medicinal Purposes?

Submitted by on January 28, 2014 – 12:58 pmOne Comment

If you’ve been following the Super Bowl coverage so far, then you’ve no doubt heard tons of jokes about the fact that this year’s big game is being played between teams that hail from states—Washington (Seattle Seahawks) and Colorado (Denver Broncos)—that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Specifically, you’ve probably heard the Super Bowl referred to as the “Super Bowl” on a number of occasions. It’s gotten a little old at this point. But the jokes are going to continue and, believe it or not, they’re also leading to some pretty serious conversations about the use of weed in the NFL.

As of right now, the NFL does not permit players to use marijuana under any circumstances. In the past, there have been many players who have revealed that they used marijuana during their careers in order to ease the pain associated with playing football. But the league has maintained a stance against allowing players to use marijuana and has repeatedly said that they don’t want players using any kinds of drugs. However, at least one NFL head coach thinks the league ought to consider softening their stance in order to see what medicinal weed might be able to do for players.

That head coach is Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (pictured above). He was asked about whether or not he thinks NFL players should be allowed to use medicinal marijuana during a press conference yesterday. And while he didn’t come right out and say yes, he did say that he believes the league should look into the benefits of marijuana.

“I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible,” he said. “Regardless of what stigmas might be involved, we have to do this because the world of medicine is doing this.”

Carroll has a point, too. At this point, it feels like the NFL has used the stigmas associated with marijuana users as a reason not to investigate whether or not medicinal marijuana could help players. They’ve shut down the idea, because they don’t want the league to be associated with marijuana. But by taking that close-minded approach, they may be doing more harm than good.

The NFL has an obligation to protect its players and provide them with the best care possible. So if nothing else, they should at least look into the possibility of providing their players the option of using medicinal marijuana as a form of treatment. If they look into it and ultimately decide that they can’t figure out a good way to set up a system that allows it, then so be it. But at the very least, they need to do some research on how medicinal marijuana could help players. Otherwise, they’re going to look real silly in five or 10 years if medicinal marijuana turns into a routine treatment for sick and injured people in other areas of life.

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