NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is willing to explore the possibility of allowing NFL players to use marijuana for medical reasons, but he’s not on board with the idea of taking it off the list of banned substances for recreational use.
Goodell said on Mike & Mike that he continues to believe marijuana is bad for players.
“I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use,” Goodell said. “Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? Listen, you’re ingesting smoke, so that’s not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term. All of those things have to be considered. And it’s not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game. We really want to help our players in that circumstance but I want to make sure that the negative consequences aren’t something that is something that we’ll be held accountable for some years down the road.”
Goodell did acknowledge, however, the growing body of evidence that marijuana can be used for medical reasons.
“We look at it from a medical standpoint,” Goodell said. “So if people feel that it has a medical benefit, the medical advisers have to tell you that. We have joint advisers, we also have independent advisers, both the NFLPA and the NFL, and we’ll sit down and talk about that. But we’ve been studying that through our advisers. To date, they haven’t said this is a change we think you should make that’s in the best interests of the health and safety of our players. If they do, we’re certainly going to consider that. But to date, they haven’t really said that.”
So even as an increasing number of states legalize marijuana, the NFL appears to be some time away from allowing players to use it for medical reasons, and dead-set opposed to allowing players to use it just because they want to use it.