For a long time, the National Football League (NFL) has been resistant to the idea of cannabis being used as a treatment for pain. Although many players have come forward claiming that cannabis helped them and saved them from opiate addiction, the NFL has maintained a strict stance favoring prohibition. Now, it looks like they are finally going to bend a little and start testing cannabis as relief for football players.
According to The Washington Post, the NFL recently sent a letter to the National Football Player’s Association (NFLPA), the group that has been trying to convince the NFL to allow cannabis as a treatment. The letter offered to work jointly with the NFLPA to study the possibility of using cannabis as a pain management tool.
“We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players,” Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications, told The Washington Post.
The NFLPA has already been looking into this matter on their own, and have yet to respond to the official letter from the NFL. Up until this point, the NFL has had a strict anti-cannabis stance, and players can still be penalized if cannabis is found in their systems. Many football players also report that they are pressured to take opiates in order to recover quickly or play through the pain. A fair amount of players and former players are already openly advocating for cannabis, despite the stigma still held by many in the NFL.
If collaboration does begin between the NFLPA and the NFL, this could be the beginning of a strong and fruitful partnership for both organizations. The NFLPA would then have more resources to study the plant and how it could possibly help players with pain, allowing for more treatment opportunities in the future.