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Marijuana in the NFL
We already know that pot is nonaddictive. With the evidence mounting that it can aid recovery from brain injury – and provide highly effective stress relief – it’s time to let medical marijuana take the field.
It happens a few times each NFL season: During a game, a violent collision occurs. Play stops, the fans go quiet, medical personnel gather around the fallen player and TV announcers become deadly serious. Usually they say something like, “This puts it all in perspective.”
The underlying truth of the lawsuit is that the key to winning in the NFL is keeping your players on the field. Top sports-medicine professionals try to make sure that happens. It’s not uncommon for players to hide injuries in order to maintain their playing status. As a result, opioid use is rampant in the NFL.
In January 2011, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis released a report indicating that retired NFL players misuse opioid pain medications at a rate more than four times that of the general population. Why? Because these same players misused painkillers during their NFL careers.
In interviews with 644 former players, 52 percent said they used prescription pain medication during their playing days. Of those, 71 percent said they had misused the drugs then. Furthermore, 63 percent who used prescription pain pills while playing obtained drugs like Vicodin, codeine, and oxycodone from a nonmedical source: a teammate, coach, trainer, family member, dealer or the Internet.