On Tuesday, Bleacher Report released an article thoroughly examining the use of marijuana in the NFL.
Former Falcons running back Jamal Anderson spoke candidly with sportswriter Mike Freeman about the prevalent use of marijuana when he was in the NFL and how that use has continued to grow. Freeman also interviewed 16 current league players (all of whom asked to stay anonymous) about their pot habits and the habits of their teammates.
The resulting report is a comprehensive look at why so many football players are smoking weed, how they get around drug testing and what the NFL is doing (or not doing) in terms of changing its marijuana policy.
The entire article is worth reading, but if you’re short on time, here’s six interesting things we learned:
1. According to Jamal Anderson, approximately 60 percent (“that’s bare minimum”) of NFL players smoke weed.
2. Many NFL players use pot to deal with the ramifications of head trauma. Most pot smoking NFL players use marijuana to ease soreness, injuries and pain from games and training.
3. One unnamed player said that marijuana ended what he described as a “borderline drinking problem.” Another unnamed player said that he believes pot helped prevent him from attempting suicide.
4. Players not in the substance-abuse program are only drug tested once a year, and they know when that test will be—which is why most marijuana users are not caught.
5. But once a player is caught and placed in the substance-abuse program, the system becomes almost impossible to beat with testing up to 10 times per month.
6. Even though NFL players report massive addiction problems to painkillers, most team owners do not want to discuss opening up marijuana use as an alternative.
Did you find these facts as intriguing as we did? Then head over to Bleacher Report to read the full article!