On the day of Super Bowl 50, we look at the role of medical marijuana in professional sports. Former Toronto Argonaut, Ricky Williams believes that MMJ is crucial to saving all of football. He credits marijuana for preserving his health during his football career and other players say that cannabis helps them avoid painkiller addiction.
According to this article, currently CFL players who want to use marijuana for pain management can do so, providing there are no legal issues obtaining it or using it. By contrast, the NFL is still trying to prohibit its use despite an estimated 60% of NFL players smoke marijuana and an estimated 70 – 90% of players who use prescription painkillers during their playing career went on to abuse them.
The CFL’s lack of testing for cannabis means that players are already exploring it as an alternative to prescription painkillers. As pressure increases to ensure player safety in the NFL, the league should take a few notes from Canada’s playbook to allow medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription drugs for pain management.