NFL, NFLPA to study marijuana as a pain-management tool

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The NFL has finally taken its first tangible step toward treating marijuana not as leverage for collective bargaining but as a potential treatment for players who need pain relief.

The league has announced that it and the NFL Players Association have created a committee that “will establish uniform standards for club practices and policies regarding pain management and the use of prescription medication by NFL players as well as conduct research concerning pain management and alternative therapies.” Although the release doesn’t mention marijuana by name, marijuana is one of the “alternative therapies” that will be considered, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

The league’s chief medical officer also used the “M” word when discussing the new committee.

“We’re asking our pain management committee to bring us any and all suggestions,” Dr. Allen Sills told Maske. “We’ll look at marijuana.”

Sills called it a “proud day for the NFL and the NFLPA to come together on these issues in a very public way,” touting “the spirit of cooperation we have around our health and safety issues.”

A separate committee will “develop educational programs for players, coaches, club personnel and players’ family members regarding mental health and wellness,” per the NFL’s press release.

PFT has reported that the league wants to end the prohibition on marijuana. Because the current labor deal gives the NFL the right to test players for marijuana and the power to discipline those who test positive or otherwise violate the substance-abuse policy, the league has been reluctant to unilaterally pull the plug on the prohibition, opting instead to try to obtain a concession from the union in exchange for allowing players to use marijuana, either for medicinal or recreational purposes.

Given that football players constantly are engaging in physical contact, especially during the season, it would presumably be very easy for players to secure permission to use marijuana for pain management. A problem could arise in any states where NFL teams are located but have not yet authorized marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The states with NFL teams that haven’t legalized medicinal marijuana include Texas (Cowboys, Texans), Tennessee (Titans), Georgia (Falcons), North Carolina (Panthers), Indiana (Colts), and Wisconsin (Packers).

23 responses to “NFL, NFLPA to study marijuana as a pain-management tool

  1. For minute there I was really worried. I confused “Pain Management” with “Weight Management”

  2. I have been predicting the NFL will be dealing their on brand of weed for years now !

  3. It does not really matter what the NFL ad NFLPA agree study. On the Federal level marijuana is not legal. The FDA has not approved marijuana for pain management. Studies have shown that marinol, a pill form, is more effective in pain management than when marijuana is smoked. Even that, using marinol for pain management would be considered off label use. Determining the efficacy of MJ for pain control is not the job of the NFL or NFLPA. If they think suspensions for using it are no longer necessary, then simply stop testing for it and leave the scientific studies up to real doctors and scientists.

  4. The NFL owners will hold onto their right to suspend players for positive marijuana tests until the NFLPA gives up something in the upcoming CBA talks. But should they?

    Why would any owner want to spend millions on paying players that are suspended for something the majority of Americans think should be legal?

  5. Dublin Demons says:
    May 20, 2019 at 3:31 pm
    For minute there I was really worried. I confused “Pain Management” with “Weight Management”

    —-

    Why? Because of the fact that regular cannabis users have lower BMIs?
    Science.

  6. I battle pain on a daily basis and dont use weed.
    Millennials will try every excuse possible to justify the use of drugs, when in reality, they are just lazy dopeheads

  7. Marijuana has the same effect on pain as opioids…none. The only thing that pot does is make you not care as much. Can everyone just be honest for a change and say they want to smoke pot because it’s fun getting high? Why is that so hard?

  8. Marijuana is not an “alternative therapy”. It is a 100% proven pain management tool.

    Fixed it for you.

  9. jman967 says:
    May 20, 2019 at 3:37 pm
    It does not really matter what the NFL ad NFLPA agree study. On the Federal level marijuana is not legal. The FDA has not approved marijuana for pain management. Studies have shown that marinol, a pill form, is more effective in pain management than when marijuana is smoked. Even that, using marinol for pain management would be considered off label use. Determining the efficacy of MJ for pain control is not the job of the NFL or NFLPA. If they think suspensions for using it are no longer necessary, then simply stop testing for it and leave the scientific studies up to real doctors and scientists.

    ——

    Agreed. The NHTSA has not legalized driving over the posted speed limit (LEO excluded) either. Every player does it, but that’s different because it actually kills people.

  10. The focus should be on cannabidol (CBD) not THC; the compound that makes the tabacky wacky.

  11. NCBI (Nat. Center for Biotech. Info) 2017: “Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Medicines for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.”

    It looked at 43 clinical trials and found “the majority of the studies did not show an effect” – Remember, this pathetic result is just against placebo, let alone trying to outdo painkillers. The only people pushing MJ as an effective painkiller are stoners trying to justify their habit.

  12. So the NFL has a Chief Medical Officer?
    Impressive.

    Seems like the NFL is quickly becoming a sovereign nation, kinda like The Vatican. The main things they lack are their own army and police force.

  13. It’s not a performance enhancing drug and it makes players feel better for pain. For all of you saying “it’s illegal”, you are correct, but the illegality of the product is much more stupid than the usage. Medical benefits have been proven, preventing players from exercising this as an option is selfish as hell. The NFL just needs to stop testing for it.

  14. Mr. Genius says:
    May 20, 2019 at 4:18 pm
    I battle pain on a daily basis and dont use weed.
    Millennials will try every excuse possible to justify the use of drugs, when in reality, they are just lazy dopeheads
    ——————–

    So you take no pain medication at all?

  15. mypercyhurts2 says:
    May 20, 2019 at 9:00 pm
    Medical benefits have been proven,

    ———

    No, no they haven’t. In fact, the polar opposite has been proven in study after study after study, that MJ does nothing to kill pain. It is a false narrative pushed by drug addicts to normalize and legalize their addiction and drug of choice, nothing more.

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