NFL Hopes to Work With Players Union on Marijuana Use Study

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 2, 2017

Earlier this year, the NFLPA announced their study on marijuana as a pain management tool and also indicated their desire to relax the league's rules regarding marijuana.

The NFL might be cracking, however.

The NFL has made a clear indication that it may be willing to work with the NFL Players Association to study the use of marijuana as pain management, a source has confirmed to ESPN.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the NFLPA is already conducting a study on the matter, and it has yet to respond to the NFL.

Neither the subcommittee nor any other member of the NFLPA has commented on the NFL's offer to work together.

The research comes as it was revealed in a recent study of 111 deceased National Football League players that all but one had the neurodegenerative brain disease C.T.E., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The hope is to provide better options that opioid treatment, which can be addicting.

"We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players", Joe Lockhart, the NFL's executive vice president of communications, told the Post. Currently, NFL players are tested for a number of substances including marijuana, and face a series of escalating penalties including suspension and loss of pay for each successive failed test.

Quandaries being considered are how to address addiction issues, how to approach those using pot purely for pleasure and those using the herb for medical purposes, including mental stress.

Marijuana is illegal under U.S. federal law, but several states have decriminalized marijuana and still more have approved it for medical uses to ease pain. "Because I've read the literature on both sides", Smith said according to the Washington Post. "Some people feel strongly we should address it now", Cowboys executive Stephen Jones said to the paper last week. "That will be one of the subjects in the collective bargaining process, which we'd like to get into sooner rather than later".

"It's a great question", Jones said. You're ingesting smoke, so that's not usually a positive thing. This policy is upheld even if the player lives in a state with a medical marijuana program, or legal cannabis in general.

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