Marijuana Use in Professional Sports

Simon Pada, Writer

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Last year, retired NBA coach Phil Jackson and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke about their personal use of marijuana and their opinion on how they believe professional sports leagues like the NBA and NFL should change their policies on marijuana use.

Marijuana is legal for medical use in 28 states and recreational use in 8 states plus Washington D.C., yet it is a banned substance in professional sports. The NFL ignores the medicinal benefits of marijuana, mostly its ability to treat chronic pain, and that comes with the territory of being a professional football player. If people are suffering from chronic pain, using marijuana can help reduce the number of painkillers needed, and in some cases, people have been able to completely replace their use of painkillers with marijuana.

Overdose is an issue being discussed across the country right now and a 2014 study showed that opiate overdoses decreased by 25% average in states that have implemented medical marijuana laws compared to states that have not. A component in marijuana known as CBD has the potential to treat and even prevent concussions.

Many famous NBA players, such as All-Star Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons, support the use of marijuana. In a 2014 interview, Griffin said, “Many guys would probably benefit from it and not take as many painkillers, which have worse long-term effects.”

NBA and NFL players should be permitted the use of medical marijuana to stay away from painkillers like opiates. Marijuana grants these players many benefits without many negatives. Most professional athletes go through large amounts of pain often and allowing the use of medical marijuana would allow for a better recovery.

More than half of all NFL players want medical marijuana legal and many retired coaches and players have talked about their own personal use of marijuana. They should be allowed to use it in places it is legal as it allows them to recover from their chronic pain. To this day, players fight to make it legal. It should finally be time for both professional sports leagues to change their policies on medical marijuana.