NFL players rely on opiates to keep them in a condition where they can take the field, something that is causing an increasing number of parties to note their concern. In an attempt to add medical alternatives for players in need, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is planning to apply pressure on the league to permit players to use marijuana.
Marijuana is currently banned by the NFL, but the league’s current drug testing policy allows players to plan ahead and smoke for the majority of the year if they’re careful. Even if they’re caught, the punishment schedule gives players a number of chances to adjust their habits before the league hands down suspensions.
ON PFT Live, NFLPA president Eric Winston commented on the actions his side of the debate may need to take in order to strike up an agreement with the owners.
“What will we ever give up for marijuana?” he said. “We get tested once per year, 99 percent of them know it’s coming.”
In most cases, one side would need to make concessions in order to gain ground towards their goals, actions that generally favor the owners. This time, the NFLP plans to use medical research to help drive their argument – if they can prove that using marijuana to manage pain is a better option than sticking with opiates, then the NFL may have no choice but to follow the information put forward by medical professionals and change league policy.
“Is this a better alternative?” Winston said. “At the end of the day the owners have to decide what they want to do. Do they want to make the game healthier for the players or not?”
Opiate abuse is a serious issue that affects people across the United States, not just the athletes in the NFL. If you or someone you love is struggling with opiate addiction, contact Schick Shadel Hospital – we’ve helped tens of thousands of people break free from their addictions since we first opened our doors, and will continue to help those in need for as long as our services are required. Send us a confidential message through our online form, or call us at (800) 272-8464 to learn more about the services we offer today.