Over the past couple of years we’ve seen athletes get suspended or fined for having banded substances in their body, mostly marijuana. The question becomes should marijuana be acceptable in sports now that it is legal in 21 of 50 states in the U.S.?
Professional football has taught the world of sports that concussions and mental health are no laughing matter. In 2013 more than 4,500 former NFL players settled a lawsuit against the league for 765 million dollars. The reason is that they believed that the league withheld information about concussions for years.
Many players have said that they use marijuana for pain purposes, such as after sustaining concussions. “Marijuana was something that helped me as the season wore on, my body would start to break down. I was in a lot of pain,” said former Denver Broncos tight end Nate Jackson in an interview with HBO’s Real Sports.
Some have supported the claim of players using it as a pain killer rather than just to get high. Washington Redskins Safety Ryan Clark said that players use it so they don’t turn to other hard and addictive drugs such as Vicodin.
Other players like, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antonio Cromartie, have been straight forward in their rebellion of the leagues ban saying, “We’re just going to do it anyway.”
The NFL is in a tough position with all eyes on it. Ultimately if they do lift the ban on marijuana smoking other leagues will follow. With pressure and public outcry over concussions and mental health of players, the NFL will have to come up with a solution. Weather that is allowing marijuana or another substance we’ll have to wait and see,