The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

NFL CannaBIS Prohibition is Outdated and Hurting Players

NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell throwing up the piece sign

NFL CannaBIS Prohibition is Outdated and Hurting Players

BY Christopher Cano


The National Football League is a cornerstone of American culture, and with cannabis prohibition at the tipping point in this nation, it is time for the NFL to take a lead role in ending cannabis prohibition in professional sports.  With over half of American states choosing to create their own medical marijuana laws, the Federal government still lacks in addressing the need to re-schedule cannabis from its current position in the Controlled Substances Act.  As a Schedule 1 drug, cannabis is considered the most dangerous with a high penchant for abuse and no medical value.  Both these assertions are false and unscientific.


NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell has said previously that he would support utilizing cannabis therapy as a treatment for concussions and other head injuries if medical experts deemed it a solution.  However, despite his statement, Cannabis still remains a banned substance.  Current and former players have come out in support of medical marijuana. Many former players citing the addictive nature of opiate painkillers as their reasoning for self-medicating with cannabis.

With such high impact hits contributing to brain damage and other major injuries, NFL players both current and former deserve a treatment option that works.  The NFL has spent over $100 million dollars on concussion research, yet, has not spent a dime investigating a known and patented neuroprotectant like cannabis.  Since 2003, the United States Department of Health and Human Services has held the patent on utilizing cannabis therapy to treat a wide range of inflammatory brain diseases from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s.  THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, is a far better anti-inflammatory than most over the counter NSAIDS and non-addictive unlike opiates.

The time has come for the NFL to be a leader in allowing its athletes to utilize cannabis therapy to treat their injuries. And, both Commissioner Goodell and the Players Association need to recognize that their lack of action continues to do harm to these gladiators who risk their bodies for our entertainment.



[Photo: Andrew Kelly / Reuters]


Christopher Cano, MPA – Executive Director, Central Florida NORML and Democratic Candidate for Florida Soil and Water Conservation District Group 2, you can follow him Twitter @ChrisCano4FL, and read more about his efforts at
This article is a syndicated content in collaboration with the author and/or CFLNORML and The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports and all copyrights are reserved.

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