According to sources familiar with the situation, the NFL has written to the NFL Players Association and has offered to work together to study the use of marijuana for pain management.
The NFL has banned the use of marijuana but according to the sources, the NFL is willing to cooperate on the marijuana-related research with the NFLPA who is conducting its own study. NFL players who test positive for marijuana could face suspensions.
“We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players,” remarked Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications.
DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s executive director, told Washington Post reporters and editors earlier this year, “I do think that issues of addressing it more in a treatment and less punitive measure is appropriate. I think it’s important to look at whether there are addiction issues. And I think it’s important to not simply assume recreation is the reason it’s being used.”
“How do you make sure that you address any potential addiction issue? Because I’ve read the literature on both sides,” Smith explained back in January.
“How do you deal with the fact that some people are using it purely recreationally and pivoting it to … people who are using it medicinally either as a pain eradicator or a stress-coping mechanism? So what we’ve decided to do is, to the best we can, look at it as related but nonetheless separate issues. Do I expect in the near future we are going to be presenting something to our board on the first issue? Yes.”