NBC Sports Commentator Mike Florio urged the National Football League (NFL) and its players union Monday to allow players to treat pain with marijuana.
The NFL Players Association and the league have had a ban on marijuana within their collective bargaining agreement for years. The labor agreement prevents both sides from unilaterally lifting the ban, meaning both sides would have to agree to change it. Florio notes it’s rare to get both the league and union to agree on something, but for the issue of marijuana they should finally lift the ban.
“The two sides agreed to make marijuana a banned substance,” Florio wrote for NBC Sports. “Unless and until that changes, any player who uses marijuana for any purpose runs the risk of a positive test and, after a sufficient number of positive tests, a suspension and, after a sufficient number of suspensions, a permanent banishment with the ability to apply for reinstatement after a year.”
Marijuana has become more accepted in recent years for recreational and medical use. Federal laws bans its use, but several states have legalized the drug, and many more have either decriminalized it or allowed it for medical purposes. The shift into mainstream acceptance has prompted a growing movement to finally lift the ban on players.
“The better approach would be for the league and the union to come to an agreement regarding the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” Florio stated. “This would potentially be the ultimate win-win for management and labor, freeing players from the problems associated with traditional pain-killers.”
Florio said some have even developed a plan to study how marijuana could treat injuries commonly experienced by players. Former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer, for instance, developed a compound derived from marijuana that is high in cannabidiol (CBD). Plummer believes his compound has helped him alleviate his joint pain and headaches.
“He also outlines the desired approach for determining whether CBD will help current players,” Florio notes. “Doctors at Johns Hopkins and Penn will be prepared to first to assess the compounds specific players are using for pain management and then administering CBD.”
Doctors would then study how the compound helps in the treatment of injuries. While doctors are prepared to study the compound and other cannabis-based treatments on players, they cannot at the moment because of the ban. The compound itself has only trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but enough to fail a drug test.
The NFL Players Association and the league did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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