Report: NFL formally offers to study marijuana as pain management option with NFLPA

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It’s been clear for some time that the NFLPA believes in the potential of marijuana as a therapeutic tool for players’ recovery. The NFL has been less open to the idea with commissioner Roger Goodell calling it “addictive” and “unhealthy” as recently as April.

However, the NFL appears ready to at least explore the possibility of marijuana use as a medical tool with the help of the NFL Players Association.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the NFL sent a letter to the NFLPA offering to work jointly to study the possibility of marijuana use as a pain management tool.

“We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players,” said Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications.

The NFLPA has been looking into the feasibility of its use already, believing it could be a safer option than opiates to combat the physical pounding players take on a weekly basis. They have yet to respond to the NFL’s request for possible cooperation at this point.

Both Jerry and Stephen Jones of the Dallas Cowboys said they wanted the NFL to begin re-examining its stance on marijuana use earlier this year. That process now appears to be taking hold, at least in an exploratory fashion.

Ultimately, the decision on how to proceed as a league would be the result of a collective bargaining process with the players’ union. At least both sides appear open to exploring the feasibility of marijuana use and the idea of a change in policy on the topic moving forward.

55 responses to “Report: NFL formally offers to study marijuana as pain management option with NFLPA

  1. Yeah, Roger looks stupid and out of touch calling MJ unhealthy and addictive. It’s such a stupid comment. Take a look at state that have legalized and you can see benefits across the board. Less drunk driving. drops in domestic abuse. fewer medicade drugs flying out the door…

  2. Of course Jerry and the Jones family want it explored and legalized. After they wasted a 2nd round pick on Randy Gregory, I’m sure they don’t want to make that same mistake twice!

  3. Great to hear! Opiates is a great medicine to aliviate pain but taking it too long; a person will become PHYSICALLY dependent and addicted. Marijuana on the other hand can accomplish the same, but won’t turn a law abiding person into a junkie when it’s time to get off the pain medication.

  4. Pot is not addictive. That’s just crazy talk. I think it’s more about setting an example for the young kids who look up to these players and aspire to be like them. “If Tom Brady smokes a blunt after a game then I should too”.

  5. As long as it doesn’t mean changing the profit split- why not?

    I mean- it’s just about pain management and not having players suspended for having a joint right?

    Not a “bargaining chip” or whatever

  6. “addictive and unhealthy”. I guess it might be, I’m not a expert. I can’t imagine it’s nearly as unhealthy as alchohol, but they wouldn’t dream of curtailing that advertising revenue. Not to mention opioids and all of the legal steroids team doctors give players to keep them on the field.

  7. “The NFL has been less open to the idea with commissioner Roger Goodell calling it “addictive” and “unhealthy” as recently as April.”
    ——————————————————–
    And prescription opiates are not “addictive” or “unhealthy”? Tell that to Brett Favre!

  8. Okay, so the NFL decides to let the players use marijuana for pain management.

    Fast forward 15 years and former NFL players get together and sue the NFL because they have lung cancer from smoking marijuana, the “harmless” drug.

    Don’t laugh. It’s a real possibility.

  9. From the American Lung Association, March 23, 2015:

    Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung, and regular use leads to chronic bronchitis and can cause an immune-compromised person to be more susceptible to lung infections. No one should be exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke. Due to the risks it poses to lung health, the American Lung Association strongly cautions the public against smoking marijuana as well as tobacco products. More research is needed into the effects of marijuana on health, especially lung health.

  10. Like opiates, if you abuse you probably won’t be able to perform to the level that keeps you in the NFL. Same for MJ.

    Use it for pain management, fine. Use it for recreation, fine. Come to practice or games too lit to remember plays or execute, buh bye.

  11. I know it’s difficult for us to do, but the guy running the NFL should let the doctors take care of the injured players. The NFLPA should have stopped work along time ago if the league wasn’t allowing the best medical care possible. But then again, this is the NFLPA we’re talking about. They are supposedly representing the players.

  12. Or Roger Goodell is a narc and he figures this is the fastest way to get his “Junior G-Man Badge”

  13. Can someone hack into the emails to see if there’s been communication between the pharmaceutical lobbyists and the commissioner’s office. Maybe Roger is a paid lobbyist. Hey wiki leaks. You out there?

  14. “offering to work jointly to study the possibility of marijuana use as a pain management tool.”

    Thats the way to do it. Are they hiring?

  15. It’s taken 50 years, but finally the culture is slowly acknowledging the obvious: people like to consume marijuana. It also has medicinal properties.
    I love the ‘addiction’ take Goodell has. He has no problem putting endless alcohol or ED pill commercials on TV during games, but have some pot, and you are an addict.
    If medicinal marijuana can help in recovery, why not?
    Hemp, a very-low-dose-THC- cousin of marijuana is a potential gold mine for America’s farmers, yet our ‘bosses’ in the government keep telling us it’s illegal for our own good. Actually, if legal. marijuana would take away a good deal of their work catching ‘criminals’.

  16. “Ready to explore the possibility” is just BS talk for delaying its use forever. If you want REAL evidence of its use as a medical tool, you need to look no further than the soldiers returning from the horrors of war. Most of them have thrown their highly addictive prescription meds in the trash.

  17. Goodell is an ignorant tool if his argument against marijuana is “addictive and unhealthy”. Oxycodone is addictive and unhealthy. Morphine, Vicodine and the rest of the opioid family has proven to be “addictive and unhealthy”. That’s why hospitals, doctors, police and EMS are trying to come up with alternatives for pain management due to it being addictive. What a dumb*ss. He is ridiculously out of touch.

  18. No matter what they negotiate, pot is still illegal at the federal level and in many states
    Scenario: The Patriots are playing the Seahawks in the SB in Atlanta. The night before the game, from an “anonymous” tip, the cops raid the Seahawks hotel and arrest 20 players for possession/intent to distribute while they are “toking away their pain”, holding them until noon. Patriots win SB virtually by default. In court, the tips are shown to come from phones with a Boston area code. Belecheck?
    Players defense, But, pot is legal in the NFL and in Seattle!!
    DA’s response, This ain’t Seattle.
    Substitute your favorite team, and any opponent, and any coach, and consider the probability of that scenario. How many fans would narc on the opponents team to ensure a SB win?

  19. it only makes sense in a league where head injuries are not only prevalent but enduring. Managing pain with opiates alone was never going to be sustainable if the league wants people to believe it really cares about the players. Alternatives were inevitable.

  20. Very simple solution is allow the CBD only products. For those of you who don’t know CBDs are the actual painkilling compound in marijuana, have zero side effects ie do not get you high or addicted, and are not damaging to the body like opioids are.

  21. Goodell being full of *nonsense* is nothing new but it will be a nice step forward for him if he actually did look at actual evidence and change his stance on something.

    Of course what will actually happen is an “unbiased” report from Exponent detailing how cannabis is worse than fentanyl, polonium and ebola combined.

    The league is owned by elderly reactionaries and gets a lot of advertising money from beer sellers so the conclusion comes before the investigation.

  22. How many more flipping studies need to be done?
    None is the answer it helps period!
    Quite worring about the shield and start worring about the players.

  23. The studies have been done. The results are in. Marijuana is factually one of the best pain killers on this planet.

    Oh, and by the way, no thanks on any further NFL studies of any sort… on anything… ever.

  24. hyzers says:
    Aug 1, 2017 4:05 AM
    Until Jeff Sessions shows up to put the clamp down on the jazz cabbage party.
    – – – –

    Remember when Elmer Fudd, I mean Sessions, said he didn’t have a problem with the KKK until he found out they used marijuana?

    Yeah, he’s a great role model for a certain segment of the fan base, the same segment that thinks Kaepernick should never play another down in the NFL. LOL

  25. You are just an ignorant tool if you believe only Dallas wants to legalize it. EVERY team has their dope smokers. Dallas drafted Randy Gregory knowing he has had issues in the past. They gave him a chance. It hasn’t worked out. In case you haven’t noticed, Dallas often takes risk players with upside in the 2nd round. Sometimes it pays off, Sean Lee and sometimes it doesn’t, Randy Gregory. At least know what you are talking about when you want to talk trash

  26. Marijuana comes in forms other than smoking it. It can be a pill, in food, etc. The player can make the choice how he gets it. If he wants to risk cancer, just like cigarette or cigar smokers, that’s his right

  27. . Actually, if legal. marijuana would take away a good deal of their work catching ‘criminals’.
    ****************
    Marijuana laws are extremely lenient now (for good reason). In most states, you either need to be dealing or in possession of a very significant amount before it’s a Felony. Even then, you won’t see Prison time unless you have an extensive criminal history. Long story short, most Cops don’t care about weed

  28. I’m a staunch advocate of legalized marijuana and I don’t even use it. Having broken nearly every bone in my body, including my back and my neck, I’ve researched this long and hard. Unfortunately, smoking The Devil’s Lettuce has little to no medicinal value. The health benefits come from edibles.

    THC is what gets you “brain high” but has little medicinal value. The healthy stuff is in the other cannabanoids, which give one more of a “body buzz” and are largely destroyed when smoked. You also can’t just pour some weed into a pan of brownies, you must extract the oil from the weed and use that oil to make your edibles. Many make butter with the oil and use it to bake cookies.

    For years and years, growers have been breeding their plants to produce more and more THC. That’s why today’s weed is so much stronger than what we smoked in the 70’s. Now, there are growers breeding for more of the other cannabanoids, which bodes well for its users.

    I’m also greatly in favor of recreational marijuana being legalized across the nation even though I never intend to use it recreationally. One supporting argument is the old joke “A drunk will blow right through a stop sign; a stoner will sit there and wait for it to turn green.” My own supporting arguments are “I’d much rather deal with stoners than drunks” and “In the history of humankind, no one has ever gotten all smoked up and beat their wife & kids.”

    Legalization is fought primarily by the alcohol and pharmaceutical lobbies; two of the biggest, with the most to lose. Like everything else, follow the money. Always follow the money.

  29. Big pharma won’t like this. They don’t have a monopoly on the product, which is everywhere and easy to get without their blessing.

  30. @The Almighty Cabbage

    Good post, but I wanted to correct a misconception you wrote.

    Believe it or not, THC has many benefits. It’s not just the CBDs, CBNs, etc. that have medicinal benefits. The compound THC is a great pain reliever. It has more uses than just the psychoactive benefits (i.e. getting”high”).

    There is a reason that nearly every culture in the history of the Earth has used marijuana medicinally. Prior to the 20th century, half of all medical prescriptions in the US contained some form of cannabis. It was one of the essential medicines of ancient China. A NYU theology professor has discovered historical evidence that Jesus’ annoiting oil (not that kind of annoiting oil, Bill Parcells) was actually a cannabis-infused olive oil.

  31. I fully agree with and support the Government restrictions on the use of substances that frequently lead to abuse, overdoses, and other criminal activity like burglary, child abuse/neglect, Criminal Sexual Conduct and theft. These substances are primarily Meth, Heroin, Rx pills and alcohol.
    It’s irresponsible to lump marijuana in with these other substances. No Cop, EMT or Coroner has responded to a Marijuana OD. No Cop or Social Worker has found a child locked in a closet, starving and filthy because their parents were smoking pot. No pothead has been found lying in park bathroom unresponsive and covered in their own bodily fluids. No Detective has discovered Children being the victim of sex trafficking because their mothers needed to score another bag of weed. Marijuana isn’t this ugly, dangerous substance that’s destroying people’s lives. In fact, it’s helping many, many people with their issues. Whether that’s pain management, anxiety or glaucoma.

    I don’t smoke weed now, and I won’t when it’s legal but that’s only because I don’t care for it. Not because it’s dangerous

  32. Smoking the stuff brings on as many problems as smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes are legal. The benefits of MJ in pain management have been known for a long time. And it is far less dangerous than opioids. It is also beneficial to people going through chemotherapy as chemo kills the appetite whereas MJ stimulates the appetite thereby encouraging people who are going through chemo to eat and keep their body healthy.

    It is long past time that the NFL permitted the use of MJ in pain management.

  33. I speak only for myself,. Five years ago I woke up to excruciating pain and could not move my legs….. Doctor explained that I have Neuropathy and would be in a wheelchair taking morphine for the rest of my life. I tried medical marijuana to manage the pain. Today I can walk and have a fairly normal life……

    It may not help everyone, but I know what it’s done for me.

  34. Thank you for pointing out all of those facts in reference to marijuana creating fewer crimes, violence and neglect by abusers of other drugs and alcohol

  35. It’s been clear for some time that the NFLPA believes in the potential of marijuana as a therapeutic tool for players’ recovery.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    I don’t think that is it. I believe the NFLPA thinks saying it has therapeutic benefits paves the way for their membership to use the drug recreationally…kinda like all those guys getting busted with weed in their car. Or are we supposed to believe all those instances were simply guys returning home from a therapy session at 2 in the morning? I am not saying that there are no medicinal benefits. I just do not believe that is the driving factor here.

  36. nyneal says:
    Aug 1, 2017 4:05 AM

    Okay, so the NFL decides to let the players use marijuana for pain management.

    Fast forward 15 years and former NFL players get together and sue the NFL because they have lung cancer from smoking marijuana, the “harmless” drug.

    Don’t laugh. It’s a real possibility.

    *********************************************

    You are absolutely clueless about the effects on MJ and the human body specifically about what it does to your lungs. This form is to small to get into but hopefully your mind is still open and curious to research it yourself but smoking MJ does NOT cause lung cancer.

  37. tonebones says:
    Aug 1, 2017 7:18 AM
    Can someone hack into the emails to see if there’s been communication between the pharmaceutical lobbyists and the commissioner’s office. Maybe Roger is a paid lobbyist. Hey wiki leaks. You out there?

    ———————-

    If someone ever hacks the NFLs email servers and gets those archives it would be a wild ride all the things that would come out.

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