Frank Alexander says he’s given up his marijuana habit

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In the absence of Greg Hardy last year, the Panthers were hoping to get some production from defensive end Frank Alexander.

But after a pair of suspensions for marijuana cost him four and 10 games, they admitted they didn’t know if they were ever getting anything from the former fourth-rounder.

But Alexander is trying to work his way back into their good graces, primarily by giving up marijuana, saying he hasn’t smoked in 11 months.

“I didn’t do it before I went to work. I didn’t do it at work. It was simply like after I got out of practice, I wanted to kind of relax and chill. It kind of healed my body up,” Alexander told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “It wasn’t like a thing I was doing all the time. I didn’t need it to get up and go.”

Many players, frankly, share Alexander’s view, and see a certain hypocrisy in the league’s drug policy given the amount of pain killers and other medications made available to them. But the policy is the policy until it changes, and Alexander said he’s given it up (after testing positive four times), so he doesn’t waste his chance to play in the NFL.

“There’s still more out there for me to do. That’s why I was disappointed last year that I couldn’t go out there and play,” Alexander said. “I know I can do a whole lot better than what I’ve been doing. It’s just a mindset thing, confidence and believing in yourself.”

Alexander spent 16 days in a rehab facility last summer, and now spends his nights after work playing video games. He said the support he’s gotten from the Panthers was valuable as well, though he knows he doesn’t have chances to spare now.

“They kept it real with me about the consequences if I make another mistake. But all in all, they were real supportive,” Alexander said. “It’s kind of like what Mr. [Dave] Gettleman told me, ‘I’ve got a son your age. I know y’all can make some bonehead decisions.’

“Coach [Ron] Rivera was the same way. ‘We’re going to stick behind you.’”

Of course, there’s a pragmatic reason for that too, since the Panthers didn’t sign or draft a pass-rusher to replace Hardy this year. So they could use Alexander, but only if he’s eligible.

31 responses to “Frank Alexander says he’s given up his marijuana habit

  1. The NFL’s no-marijuana policy is punitive, useless, nonsensical and out-of-touch with reality!

  2. Last chance of a golden opportunity for this young man. Hope he capitalizes. With no Hardy and an aging Charles Johnson, he could be the best pass rusher this year.

    This is a gamble I support Gettleman on. I’ve been a big critic. I hope he’s right this time.

  3. It’s 2015 and the fact that weed is illegal is a joke. I don’t smoke, I have zero desire to smoke but I do have common sense. Weed is so bad our last three Presidents smoked it.

  4. If players want to smoke weed to help them deal with pain and nagging injuries, then they should be allowed to. It’s not performance enhancing, and it is going through a legalization process in this country.

    I don’t smoke, but it is really not a big deal.

  5. I don’t know about Weed being legal, but we do need this guy on the field. Panthers are poised for a third straight Division Crown.

  6. Twenty bucks says he gets suspended for it again.

    I do agree that the NFL policy on weed is silly as is the still mainly held view that it is evil and it should be fully legal. I don’t smoke yet I fail to see how weed is worse than alcohol which all these people have no problem with being legal.

  7. “The NFL’s no-marijuana policy is punitive, useless, nonsensical and out-of-touch with reality!”
    The NTSB’s (National Transportation Safety Board) no-marijuana policy is punitive, useless, nonsensical and out-of-touch with reality!

    There, fixed it for you. After all, y’all would like to meet fuel/propane/ haz-mat trucks on the roads with the drivers smoking blounts, Right?

  8. Look…

    If weed helps you deal with the pain..

    THEN ITs a PED !!!!

    Why aren’t people getting this ????

    People can’t cherry pick their legal substances, and many people fall victim with the “If its legal on the real world…then it should be legal in sports theory”

    And that Theory is myopic.

    They are mutually exclusive.

  9. Pills pills pills pills. Pills pills pills pills!

    Here take these! They just might destroy your liver, but you’ll sleep like a baby! (for tonight anyway)
    Or how about some of these tasty little delights? You don’t really need those kidneys anyway, do ya?
    Not what you’re looking for? Well then I’ve got just the stuff for you, as long as you don’t mind forming a serious and lasting drug addiction!

    You must be crazy! That stuff will destroy your life! EVIL!!!

    The layers of corruption in the NFL are endless. How much cash does the pharmaceutical industry pump into the NFL to maintain such senseless policies as these/keep the cash flowing in the -Right- direction?

    Marijuana is not the problem. Not in the NFL. Not in the larger society.
    In fact, the more we learn, the more we find just what an amazing plant this is for its many medicinal applications with very few side effects. But, if people can just grow their medicine, how do the filthy rich maintain their grip on their ever growing portion of the pie?

    Wake up people

  10. @cakesw,

    If that’s the case then why are team doctors handing out pain killers like skittles? Under your line of thinking, those should be PEDs as well, no?

    Are you saying anything that alleviates pain is a PED?

  11. The players can see the hypocrisy all they want but the fact of the matter is that in most states marijuana is still illegal so it makes sense that the NFL would ban this substance for now.

  12. Like it or not weed is still illegal in 96% of the states. The ones still keeping marijuana illegal are the conservative religious folks who view any stimulant or even alcohol as evil. Write to your congressmen if you want to change the views in this country instead of whining about it on PFT. Warning, those deep conservatives helped elect those politicians so the congressmen tend to be very conservative as well.

  13. granadafan says:

    Like it or not weed is still illegal in 96% of the states. The ones still keeping marijuana illegal are the conservative religious folks who view any stimulant or even alcohol as evil.

    Obama is a conservative religious person? He could legalize it just he legalized illegals on his own.

  14. Weed will be against the rules in the NFL as long as it is against federal law. They enjoy their monopoly exemption and that requires them the make Congress happy. Making Congress happy requires they placate the ‘drug warriors’ who still sadly run things.

    TLDR: Get Congress to stop treating weed like it was some awful scourge and the NFL will stop.

  15. “certain hypocrisy” ????

    How about massive hypocrisy in almost every way they deal with players and owners, in how they manufacture fake cheating scandals, in how the lie, obfuscate and otherwise manipulate the league.

  16. OK…I misspoke, I shouldn’t have said pain…what I should have stated was help with the “pressure” or stress and other factors players are claiming they use it for.

    That is the PED aspect of it…

    If you can’t emotionally deal with your respective profession… You should be participating in it.

  17. Legal? Are you all crazy? Half of our society is lazy already! Legalizing it would turn us in to like one of those middle eastern countries that has over half of their population doped and dumbed down from chewing on some plant leaf. Hush up and just play football, Frank.

  18. Cannabis is an effective alternative to pain killers. Cannabis not only helps ease mild to moderate pain without the nausea and mood swings associated with pain killers but it also helps deal with the anxiety caused by long term pain. It blows my mind that the NFL prefers its players popping pills that have a multitude of side effects including death rather than relaxing with a substance that is far less harmful than alcohol or tobacco.

  19. You potheads just want to get high, nothing to do with medicinal value. If you were in it for medicinal value, use oil a drop or two on the tongue alleviate the pain. Admit you just want to get stoned that’s why you want it legal. Quit BSn every about its uses. I do not drink and would rather burn one every now and again. You have got to stop comparing it to alcohol and maybe let it stand on its own.

  20. I am for full legalization of weed because the slower and more lazy my fellow co-workers are the better I look.

  21. Time will tell on Alexander. Right now, I’d rather have Mario Addison starting opposite CJ and Kony Ealy as the first sub in. If he’s clean, the D will be better for it. I hope he is, and will reserve judgment until they put pads on and see how he does.

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