Medical Marijuana Usage in NFL Would Tremendously Improve the League Safety

By Ryan Heckman
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of his tenure as NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell has not been the most popular person around the league. His  installments of rules and regulations in recent years to help support player safety have been questioned by many and not agreed upon by even more. But, Goodell turned some heads this week by stating his support for the usage of medical marijuana.

“I’m not a medical expert,” Goodell told “We will obviously follow signs. We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that. Our medical experts are not saying that right now.”

There is no evidence at the moment that medical marijuana would benefit players in any way, under any circumstances; that is, according to NFL medical officials. However, the fact that Goodell seems open about the idea is a great thing. The main situation most would see marijuana being used is for concussions or severe head injuries.

7-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Lomas Brown recently shared his thoughts on the issue, and what he had to say makes perfect sense.

“I just think the use of pot for pain management would be far better than the abuse of heavy narcotics like pills, Vicodin or Percoset,” Brown said. “The NFL, they have to protect their logo. I get that, they have to protect the image. But, I say at least 50 percent of the players smoke.”

Like Goodell, I’m no medical expert either. But, the fact of the matter is, marijuana use helps relieve a multitude of symptoms in a variety of situations. I have seen first hand, in my own family, how marijuana can work wonders for those enduring rigorous chemotherapy during their battle with cancer.

Marijuana greatly decreases nausea and vomiting — one of the toughest things for me to see during my loved one’s battle. It also reduces muscle tension and spasms — another use that the league could look into if it so desired. Of course, marijuana helps with pain in general. If these three simple benefits aren’t enough to convince those involved to take a deeper look, I don’t know what will be.

It is imperative that the NFL continues to work toward improving player safety. Goodell has taken plenty of action to do so, but this could be the milestone that promotes a breakthrough.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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