TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


September 6, 2016

Cannabis in the NFL?

American football is considered one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. Due to the sheer brutality of American football, professional players use opioids to relieve their pain and continue to play on, but some football players have opted for a safer option: marijuana.
This is a much more viable and safer option for athletes. They can greatly reduce the chance of addiction and other major side effects of chronic opioid consumption.
While the NFL has a no tolerance policy on marijuana, cannabidiol content within the plant can be used to relieve pain and allow for relaxation, with little to no harmful effects.
In 2014, the American Society of Addiction Medicine recorded that opioids are responsible for an estimated 20,000 lethal overdoses. In addition to the chance of overdosing, opioids come with a huge list of unpleasant side-effects: sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, respiratory depression and addiction.
Marijuana, however, continues to be the safer alternative, with zero total overdoses and milder side effects.
Unfortunately, when players are tested and show traces of marijuana in their system, the league will issue a fine and a possible suspension.Many players, including star probowlers running back Le’veon Bell and wide reciever Josh Gordon, have been suspended due to their usage of marijuana.
The NFL has made its substance abuse policy more lenient, but they should get rid of the restrictions on marijuana completely.
The country has also become more lenient on this issue. Over twenty states legalized the use of medicinal marijuana and many of the NFL teams, including the entire NFC west division, play in some of these states.
Few players have been outspoken on their opinion on this issue. In an article on the Player’s Tribune, retired Baltimore Raven Eugene Monroe was the one of the first professional football player to publicly advocate the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to that painkillers and warns against the use of opiods.
“An old teammate at the University of Virginia told me that one of our former UVA teammates — a guy who was a few years ahead of me and who mentored me before going on to play in the NFL — had gotten addicted to pain pills and had essentially vanished” Monroe said. “He has left his home for the streets and is now addicted to heroin.”
As a former football player myself, I can understand the true violence and brutality of the game, but the highest level I have played at is high school level, while these men play in the NFL with the strongest and toughest players in the world.
The National Football League’s main priority should be to keeps its players safe and reduce the amount of pain.
Changing their substance abuse policies and looking for alternatives to opioids can be the first step into keeping their players safe.

About the Author

Chris Klementich


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