As of Tuesday’s elections, 28 states now allow some sort of medicinal marijuana use, but that doesn’t mean the NFL and the players’ union will come together on any near-term alterations to the league’s drug policy, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. However, the NFLPA will continue to convene a “pain management committee” that will evaluate the effects of marijuana on health.
Privately, at least three owners have stated support for medical marijuana, especially in contrast to other medication — such as painkillers — that are often abused, reports Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Officially, however, the NFL doesn’t sound ready to make any changes to its current stance.
“We continue to follow the advice of leading experts on treatment, pain management and other symptoms associated with concussions and other injuries,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “However, medical experts have not recommended making a change or revisiting our collectively-bargained policy and approach related to marijuana, and our position on its use remains consistent with federal law and workplace policies across the country. If these advisers determine a change would be in the best interest of our players, we would discuss it.”
As Seifert notes, a recent ESPN survey found that nearly two-thirds of current NFL players believe that lessening the penalties associated with marijuana use — or perhaps, eliminating discipline for the drug altogether — could help reduce excessive painkiller usage.