NFL Players Association to Negotiate for Medical Marijuana Access

The NFL's Pot Problem

The NFL and NFL Players Association continue to discuss the pros and cons of a basic question: Why can’t football players use medical marijuana, approved in over half the country and proven to help with pain and dangerous brain swelling caused by concussions?

In that the National Football League stubbornly remains on the conservative, anti-scientific side on the issue, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is being obliged to make concessions at the bargaining table.

“What will we ever give up for marijuana?” NFLPA president Eric Winston asked recently on NBC’s PFT Live. “We get tested once per year, 99 percent of them know it’s coming.”

Winston indicated the instead of concessions, the NFLPA will use science to prove that pot is a better alternative for pain management than opiates.

That shouldn’t be too difficult, in view of compelling evidence backed by medical studies, not to mention widely publicized anecdotal information from NFL players themselves.

Promising research has shown that CBD could protect brain cells and promote cell growth, offsetting CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), the degenerative brain disease caused by concussions and linked to depression, memory loss and suicide.

In other words, weed could work as both a preventative and healing measure to treat the battered brains of football players.

Derrick Morgan, starting linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, agrees with the more-research-needed approach.

“They’re not going to take marijuana off the banned substance list just because we’re asking them to. I think it’s going to be a process, and I think the first step in that process is the research,” he told Esquire Magazine in an interview.

Football players across the board, not just NFL players, are increasingly coming out in large numbers to report that pot helps deal with some of the chronic issues associated with playing football or otherwise getting their bodies and heads bashed on a regular basis.

“Is this a better alternative?” Winston said on PFT Live. “At the end of the day, the owners have to decide what they want to do. Do they want to make the game healthier for the players or not?”

Regarding the White House’s recent rumblings that the feds might be cracking down on legal weed, NFLPA’s assistant executive director for external affairs, George Atallah, said this doesn’t necessarily affect the union’s plan to push for a new policy in regard to weed.

“We are talking about how players get treatment under our jointly agreed upon drug policies, not any advocacy for Federal vs. State statutes,” Atallah said, according to the Denver Post.

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