NFL Players Support Cannabis Use for Pain Management

NFL Players

ESPN Survey of NFL Players

In a survey conducted by ESPN The Magazine, nearly two-thirds of NFL players revealed a belief that the use of chemical painkillers would be reduced if players were able to use cannabis medicinally. Despite being legal in 25 states and Washington D.C., it remains one of eight drugs on the NFL’s policy and program on drugs of abuse. Furthermore, NFL players that have tested positive for cannabis are subject to sanctions. Sanctions may include fines and even suspension.

Pain Killers vs Cannabis

226 NFL players participated in ESPN’s survey (out of 1,696 on active rosters). 64% of replies said they had taken an injection of Toradol or another painkiller, and nearly 60% of replies expressed concern over the long-term effects of painkillers. Some of these painkillers have nasty long-term side effects, including intestinal bleeding. 42% of replies reported a belief that they’ve had a teammate become addicted to painkillers. The NFL-wide ban applies to all players. Also, the ban applies whether they live in a state that has legalized recreational or medical marijuana. One player remarked that cannabis is “legal where I live, but not where I work.”

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