The use of marijuana by NFL players as an aid to deal with the pain they go through has been in the news for the past couple of years as players and former players are asking the league to review it drug policy. A few days ago, Eben Britton, who played in the NFL for six season, recently said in an interview that he was at his best during games when he was high.
In the interview, Britton said the NFL games he played in when he was stoned were the best games of his career. Britton, who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chicago Bears during his career, said that Cannabis cements his surroundings. He added that he has heard people say they are pretty much useless when they are stoned, but the drug has the opposite effect on him.
Britton also said in the interview that he believes anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of NFL players use marijuana. Despite the high estimate of players using, not too many get busted for the use of the drug because the NFL doesn’t test for it as much as they do for performance enhancing drugs.
According to reports, the NFL tests for recreational drugs like marijuana once a season, and after the tests are over, players go back to using it. The league probably isn’t as strict on the testing because it isn’t a performance enhancer, but those who have been caught have been dealt with by the league.
Former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams retired from the league after multiple failed tests, Cleveland’s Josh Gordon was suspended for a year for multiple failed tests, and Britton was also suspended for the entire 2015 season for multiple failed tests.
In recent years, the attitude towards the use of marijuana has been changing. Multiple states have made the use of marijuana legal, which has spurred some former NFL players to petition the league to allow its use as an alternative to the painkillers they get from team medical staff. The players argue that marijuana is a safer alternative and isn’t as addictive as the painkillers.
Former Baltimore Ravens player Eugene Monroe pledged $80,000 to study the effect of marijuana use by NFL players to try to reduce their use of addictive opioids and anti-inflammatory drugs they receive from teams to help them deal with their pain.
At the time, Monroe said there was enough evidence that suggest that marijuana use is safer than opioids and other drugs NFL players take for their pain. It has also been suggested that marijuana can help with concussions, making it something the NFL seriously has to look into.
In addition to the medical benefits, Britton said marijuana has other positive social uses. According to the former player, marijuana helped him socialize with teammates. Britton said that after practice, a couple of players will meet up at one of the players’ homes and smoke marijuana. During those sessions, the players didn’t talk about football, they just hung out and had a good time getting to know each other better.
Despite the potential benefits of using marijuana for pain, it doesn’t look like the NFL will change its stance anytime soon.