According to an ESPN survey of active NFL players, 61 percent said they believed fewer players would take pain-killing shots if the league would allow medicinal use of cannabis, with 41 percent saying it would be more effective at controlling pain.
Cannabis is one of eight drugs banned by the NFL, despite it having less known side effects than Toridol — a chemical pain killer and anti-inflammatory commonly used in the league. The survey found 64 percent of respondents indicated they had taken an injection of the drug or another pain killer during their career. Positive test results for cannabis lead to disciplinary measures such as suspension and fines.
About two-thirds of the respondents said they were concerned about the long-term effects of chemical pain killers, with 42 percent admitting that they have had a teammate become addicted to the drugs.
Seventy-one percent of the players indicated that cannabis should be legal, with one player pointing out “it’s legal where I live, but not where I work.”
Three of the league’s teams hail from cities that allow adult cannabis use – the Seattle Seahawks, the Denver Broncos, and the Washington Redskins — and as more states legalize cannabis it could put pressure on the league to reevaluate its policies.