Numerous NFL Players have experienced brain injuries during their careers. There have been many tragic stories in recent years about how the NFL didn’t do enough to educate and warn players about what repeated injuries could do to their brains. There have been a number of studies suggesting that medical marijuana can help people with brain injuries recover and heal. The NFL of course frowns upon all things marijuana, which is something that former NFL players want to see changed. Per New York Daily News:
In a column posted Monday on The Huffington Post, the three NFL retirees urge commissioner Roger Goodell and the league to finance research pot’s effectiveness in treating traumatic head injuries.
First and foremost, the NFL should allocate financial resources to advance medical research on the efficacy of medical marijuana in treating brain injuries. In the case of trauma, a lot of inflammation occurs, which affects cognitive functioning and neural connectivity. A compound in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) has shown scientific potential to be an antioxidant and neuroprotectant for the brain. In a sport where closed head injuries are common, the league should be doing everything it can to help keep their players healthy during and after their careers. If the NFL wants to continue to grow its game, it must investigate potential medical solutions for its industrial disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Even the federal government holds a patent on marijuana for this purpose.
Washington, Ayanbadejo and Fujita also call for the league to abandon drug testing and punishing players for the use of marijuana, as well as take a “leadership role” in addressing racial disparities in marijuana law enforcement and other problems caused by the War on Drugs.
The NFL does not have any valid reasons for why they prohibit any consumption of marijuana, medical or recreational. All players have a lot of aches and pains, in addition to some experiencing brain injuries. If they want to use marijuana to help them deal with those ailments, they should be allowed to do so. An NFL player can get as drunk as they want off the field, so they should also be allowed to use marijuana if they want, because after all, marijuana is much safer.