July 2, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) Professional football is one of the most violent sports in America; players are constantly at risk of life altering injuries. Three San Francisco 49ers players in their twenties recently retired from the NFL because of injury concerns. Two of the three cited concerns over concussions as their primary reason for retiring.
Between 2012 and 2014, 690 players were diagnosed with concussions — and that number is probably actually much higher. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, 85 percent of sports related concussions go undiagnosed.
Former NFL running back Jamal Anderson insists that cannabis is something that players use to cope with pain and help recover from head trauma. He insists that the amount of players that use cannabis has increased since he was in the league from 1994-2001.
“It’s at least 60 percent now,” Anderson said. “That’s bare minimum. That’s because players today don’t believe in the stigma that older people associate with smoking it. To the younger guys in the league now, smoking weed is a normal thing, like having a beer. Plus, they know that smoking it helps them with the concussions.”
With 1700 NFL players, 60 percent equates to 1020 players that potentially use cannabis for pain and/or recreational use. How are so many players able to use weed without violating the leagues substance abuse policy?
Players that aren’t in a testing program, due to previous documented use, are only tested once a year — usually during training camp. Once players pass the test, they are then able to use cannabis freely for the rest of the year without the risk of testing.
Players that are in a testing program are subject to drug testing up to ten times per month. Often times, players that test positive are susceptible to harsher punishments than players that use steroids or commit domestic violence. Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns is facing a similar one year ban for smoking weed as Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings did for child abuse.
Bleacher report interviewed several NFL players and assistant coaches that said the players association and the NFL have a “wink-wink” policy and don’t want tougher cannabis policies because so many players would test positive.
The NFL has offered former players $765 million to settle a lawsuit, charging the NFL with knowingly concealing a link between traumatic brain injuries and pro football. Former players such as Junior Seau, Mike Webster, Terry Long and Andre Waters all committed suicide after suffering from chronic brain injuries incurred while playing pro football.
One former player claimed that he didn’t use the drug early on in his career, but was later convinced by a trainer to use it because of a particularly severe concussion.
“The headaches went on for three days. I always tell people that I understood why some guys with head trauma want to take their own lives. It’s miserable.”
The player, who wished to remain anonymous, believes that cannabis helped extend his career; not only allowing him recover quicker from concussions, but also potentially prevented him from committing suicide.
Prominent Harvard psychiatrist Lester Grinspoon claims that cannabis can be a promising treatment for NFL players or anyone with long term head trauma. Dr. Grinspoon even wrote a letter to the NFL commissioner imploring him to support research on cannabis as a treatment for brain injuries.
The only pain management option that the NFL officially accepts is the use of prescription pain killers. Pharmaceutical pain killers are highly addictive, have much worse side effects, and in some cases have arguably have less therapeutic abilities than weed.
Every day, 44 people die from prescription pain killer overdose. Meanwhile, in the entire history of the human existence, not one person has died from overdosing on cannabis smoke. So, for the players’ sake, the NFL should end its war against weed.
This article (Ex-NFL Player Claims that Over 60% of Current Players Smoke Weed) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune in! The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Philadelphia Eagles. Help us fix our typos: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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