In order to eliminate the negative stigma that accompanies the use of cannabis, one of the first steps involved is recognition. Cannabis use has been widely recognized by many scientists as an alternative to traditional medications, and has been recognized by many prominent entrepreneurs as a viable business option; however, this is not the recognition I’m speaking of.
To fight the stereotypes that go hand-in-hand with cannabis use, people need to recognize that many of their favorite athletes, entertainers, and businessman are using cannabis to their advantage and not a handicap. The following article from Bleacher Report is a testimonial from many former NFL and NBA athletes that will attest to the fact that marijuana helped them to succeed. According to one NBA athlete, Matt Barnes, in all of his best games, he was medicated. In an interview with the Rich Eisen Show, Barnes said:
“It relaxed me, it was something that allowed me to sleep easier, it was something that took pain away — because I’m not really big on alcohol or pain killers. And it was something that just put me in a different area where I was able to relax and be at peace for a small part of my day.” – Matt Barnes, former NBA Forward, 2018
While the NBA is more receptive of the use of cannabis, the NFL currently has a much more strict policy for its players. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, even admitted to Bleacher Report that the league is, “interested in better understanding the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana”. The NFL is on the other side of the spectrum though, and has offered to work with it’s Players Association, but remains hesitant to provide support. Roger Goodell has been consistent in his message when he stated that:
“[Marijuana] does have [an] addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long term. All of those things have to be considered. And it’s not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game.” – Roger Goodell, Current NFL Commissioner of 12 seasons, 2017
While it may be true that cannabis use can be addictive, it is also clear that if used responsibly it can have numerous benefits for athletes. According to newly retired tight end Martellus Bennett, about 89% of NFL players use cannabis as an alternative for prescriptive medicine. If many of your favorite athletes continue to make highlight play after highlight play while using cannabis, can it really be a negative entity? It sure makes you tune in on a weekly basis.