Archive

NFL plans to explore marijuana use for players’ pain, report says | TribLIVE.com
Health

NFL plans to explore marijuana use for players’ pain, report says

Ben Schmitt
ptrrickywilliams042217
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Ricky Williams talks about his cannabis advocacy at the World Medical Cannabis Conference & Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, Friday, April 21, 2017.

The NFL might be changing its stance on marijuana use as a treatment option for players dealing with pain.

League officials want to at least explore the possibility of marijuana use as a medical option with the help of the NFL Players Association, according to a Washington Post report.

The report comes only three months after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell proclaimed on a sports talk show that pot is addictive and unhealthy for players.

“It does have an addictive nature,” Goodell previously told the ESPN show Mike & Mike. “There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long term.”

Perhaps Goodell’s position is changing.

The NFL has written to the NFL Players Association offering to work in tandem to study the potential use of marijuana as a pain management tool, the Post reported.

“We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players,” said Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications.

The union previously has said it is studying medical marijuana use on its own.

In April, the World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo at Downtown Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center featured former Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL running back Ricky Williams, who advocates in favor of allowing players to use marijuana.

While NFL players are allowed to take heavy prescription drugs — such as opioids — for pain, marijuana remains a banned substance.

“If you get in the drug program and you get in trouble, it’s so punitive,” Williams told the Tribune-Review while discussing NFL drug policies. “Players aren’t getting help. They are only getting punished for something that I think we can at least make the argument is probably healthier than opioids and prescription drugs that players are taking.”

Medical marijuana has been legal in Pennsylvania for more than a year , and the highly regulated industry required to support it here is expected to be operating by mid-2018.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, [email protected] or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.