Marijuana and the NFL have endured a turbulent relationship through the years and it’s proven to be a thorn in the side of America’s biggest sport. However, the situation seems to be taking a major twist.
A source has told ESPN that the NFL has penned a letter to the Player’s Association, where they offered to co-operate with a study into the use of marijuana as a pain management tool, which was first reported by The Washington Post.
The league has previously indicated they’re conducting their own studies, with the NFLPA doing similar, but the fact that the NFL is willing to work alongside the Player’s Association is a major step towards genuine change. Currently, players are tested for marijuana and any use, medical or not, can result in potential discipline.
Major changes could be on the cards though as the NFL is exploring a change in their views. In an email to CNN, NFL Executive Vice President of Communications Joe Lockhart said:
“Can confirm we did reach out to the NFLPA in early July proposing we work together on some research on the impact of marijuana and pain management. While they’ve acknowledged our letter, we don’t yet have a commitment from them to work together on this.”
Reaching a conclusion could take some time and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has previously proved to be largely against the use of marijuana, citing the problem of addiction and long-term health problems to individuals.
It’s definitely not the sort of decision that can be taken lightly and any decision is likely to split opinion straight down the middle, especially as it’s currently only legal in 29 states and one of the states where it’s completely illegal, Kansas, boasts an NFL team- raising questions as to how the league would govern the use of medical marijuana when legislation in numerous states is vastly different.