On the heels of the first “Pot luck” Super Bowl, involving two teams from states that have legalized marijuana, could pot soon become a legal drug in the NFL?
Many players are certainly pushing for it, including Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark, who said marijuana helps relieve the pain and stress football players have to deal with each Sunday.
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“I know guys on my team who smoke,” Clark told ESPN’s First Take. “And it’s not a situation where you think, ‘Oh, these guys are trying to be cool … A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, ‘If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.’”
Clark said on Twitter later in the day that he, himself, doesn’t smoke pot but that the NFL shouldn’t punish players who do use it.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was non-committal last week when asked if he ever saw a day coming in the future in which he would allow players playing in states where marijuana use was legal to be able to use the substance without consequence from the league.
“It is questionable as to the positive impacts, in the face of the very strong evidence of the negative effects, including addictions and other issues,” Goodell said. “We’ll continue to follow the medicine. Our experts right now are not indicating that we should change our policy in any way. We are not actively considering that at this point in time. But if it goes down the road sometime, that's something that we would never take off the table."
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS