The use of medical marijuana has proved to be a major talking point ahead of the new NFL season, with the league recently confirming they’re to explore the possibility of using the drug in the future.
Marijuana has been banned by the NFL but former Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan has become the latest high-profile man to speak out about the benefits of the drug, joining a list that includes Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, ESPN analyst Randy Moss and recently-retired Eugene Monroe.
O’Callaghan’s comments may provide the biggest argument towards approving the use of medical marijuana though as it’s pretty much saved his life. In June, the openly-gay ex-player revealed he always planned to commit suicide after his playing days and abused painkillers.
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The Chiefs helped their former player to change his stance and O’Callaghan eventually ditched the painkillers for marijuana, which he argues isn’t addictive – despite numerous arguments suggesting it is. Speaking to USAToday, he said:
“For people like me, marijuana is a godsend because you don’t want to take these pills. Marijuana is not addicting. People who say that have never smoked it. I have an addictive personality. It’s not addictive.”
Remarkably, despite the current ban. O’Callaghan stated he knows of players who have even played matches whilst stoned and claims the NFL knows the drug is harmless, which leads to questions as to why the league is yet to evolve.
“I’ve known guys who’ve played stoned. Absolutely. The NFL can be stressful and there’s not a lot you can do. Smoking a joint’s pretty harmless. It really is. Don’t tell the Attorney General that, but it’s very harmless.”
It certainly seems like the NFL will eventually ditch its stance towards marijuana and approve the medical use of the drug but it may be a difficult thing to oversee as numerous states, including Kansas, still have the drug as illegal for any use.
The situation is evolving but it’s not going to be an easy fix and will always prove to be a cause of contention for the league, players, fans and politicians. If it can be proved that it’s not addictive and helps deal with pain though, there’s not really any argument as to why the ban should continue.