With the release of a new survey, it’s clear that NFL players want to smoke weed.
As the nation quickly becomes more accepting of marijuana, sports leagues—namely the NFL—are far behind the times. So much so that a recent survey of NFL players showed that 89 percent believe medical marijuana could be used effectively to treat pain.
The 38-question survey, conducted by BudTrader.com, the nation’s largest medical marijuana online marketplace, explores the prevalence of opiates and chemical painkillers among NFL players.
The results are extremely concerning for the NFL.
Ninety-one percent of the current and former players admitted to taking opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone for pain, with 74 percent of players reported experiencing negative side effects from using the prescribed pain killers.
Of the 150 players that were surveyed, 87 (!) percent believe that the NFL should allow use of medical marijuana for pain relief in states where cannabis is legal.
One of those in favor of using the drug for pain relief is former Super Bowl champion Marvin Washington, who stated: “If there’s one sport that should legalize medical cannabis, it’s professional football. The unique compounds found in marijuana—CBD especially—can protect the brain as well as treat inflammation, insomnia and pain. CBD/Medical cannabis is a terrific alternative to prescription opiates.”
While the NFL (and the United States) deals with its ongoing opioid crisis, it would be wise for the NFL to discover alternative pain relief methods—like medical marijuana.
It appears the league is slowly starting to take notice.
Unlike Roger Goodell, who you should absolutely boo with all your might, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith understands the appeal for further research and understanding of cannabis.
Last week on ESPN’s Outside The Lines, Smith stated that “[w]e intended to present a proposal to the league that has probably more of a therapeutic approach to those who test positive for marijuana. The idea is simply to make sure that we understand whether a player is suffering from something other than just a desire to smoke marijuana.”
BudTrader.com CEO Brad McLaughlin defended his survey, saying that “the league is senselessly dragging their feet on allowing medical marijuana for therapeutic use for players. It’s causing a lot of harm, and a lot of players are really unhappy with the state of things. Our survey shows that.”
And, you know what? He’s right. Let’s hope this survey begins a much-needed conversation in the sports industry.