It’s been a rough road for NFL players who’ve stuck to their beliefs about medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids for treating pain and a number of other ailments, including concussions.
But things might be changing soon.
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, told the other 31 NFL team owners that he wants the National Football League to “drop its prohibition on marijuana use.”
Speaking at a private meeting as part of the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix last week, Jones said he also wants the NFL to stop its “practice of investigating off-field misconduct,” according to NBC’s Pro Football Talk.
Jones, the most powerful owner in the NFL, according to ESPN, is most likely to become even more popular among players with that one statement.
Pro football players have advocated for reasonable weed policies for years.
Marijuana is on the NFL’s banned substances list, which includes a provision for off-season testing. Under the NFL’s current marijuana policy, players can be suspended after their fourth failed test.
As more players are calling for the league to reconsider its stance, Jones’ words are music to their ears.
Jones made little headway with his suggestions, reported the Star-Telegram, as the league cannot alter its stance on weed without making changes to the collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association, which has been considering a “less punitive” approach to the marijuana issue.
Some observers say the issue is personal for Jones whose defensive end, Randy Gregory, is serving a year-long suspension for repeated violations of the league’s substance policy—stemming mostly from his use of weed.
The recently-formed NFL Players Association’s pain management committee has been separately studying the issue of MMJ for treating pain and avoiding addictive opioids.
“We want to look at the issue of opioids, but we also want to make sure we’re looking at the issue of how and to what extent players may be self-medicating if they can’t get medication elsewhere,” said the union’s executive director DeMaurice Smith at a press conference at this year’s Super Bowl.
Former Jets defensive end and cannabis entrepreneur, Marvin Washington who was in New York recently to speak on panel about “Cultural Diversity in the Cannabis Industry,” called on the NFL powers to start acting and stop talking.
“If you look at Roger Goodell, every time he’s asked about (the marijuana issue) he always says, ‘We’re taking recommendations of our medical doctors.’ Well Roger, we don’t want to follow the science. We want you to lead the science,” Washington told the New York Daily News.
“It’s a collision sport,” Washington added. “I don’t want to kill football. I just want to make it safer, and I believe we have something that can make it safer.”