As national support grows for the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana increases, some NFL players are chiming on on the leagues substance abuse policy. Ricky Williams, who has had very public issues with the drug and has been outspoken about it’s potential medical uses. Being once banned from the NFL because of his positive tests for marijuana, he had words to Roger Goodell about the current testing policies.
According to TMZ, Ricky Williams has said that the issue doesn’t lie with the actual drug but with the image that the NFL wants to retain. “I don’t think the NFL really cares about whether or not players use marijuana,” Williams said.
Per an ESPN report, Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark added “I know guys on my team who smoke. And it’s not a situation where you think, “Oh, these are guys trying to be cool.” These are guys who want to do it recreationally. A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, “If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.” Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it.
Jets corner Antonio Cromartie shares the same sentiment. “They need to just let it go,” Cromartie said. “We’re just going to do it anyway. They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, ‘Y’all go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.'”
It will be a hard change for the NFL to accept but as the political landscape for the drug changes so might the NFL’s stance on the issue. Do you feel the NFL will change its marijuana policy in the near future?