Legalizing Marijuana for Professional Athletes

Athletes deciding to use marijuana in their sport shouldn't be punished for it.

Legalizing marijuana is becoming more and more socially acceptable. However, the use of marijuana in America’s most popular professional sports league, the NFL, remains controversial. It’s currently on the banned substances list but players are calling for the league to reconsider its stance.

Other professional leagues in the US like the NHL don’t consider marijuana a banned substance., so plenty of NFL players believe and support the use of marijuana in professional football for treating pain and brain injuries.

Many NFL players have asked NFL officials if they could use marijuana for medical purposes. Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan said “… raising the issue in an effort to persuade officials to at least study the possible health benefits.” 

However, those who argue against the use of marijuana for medical purposes say that its negatives outweigh the positives. The National Institute on Drug abuse states “These effects include altered perceptions and mood, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and disrupted learning and memory.”

Marijuana does have some risky side effects, but when athletes are comparing their options for pain management, marijuana is by far the safer choice. There have been stories of how the cannabis oil which is found in marijuana helps people who have experienced strokes and seizures regain their health.

For example, someone who has epilepsy and hundreds of seizures a week started getting cannabis oil and it caused a significant reduction in her seizures. This story shows how benefitting this drug could be to NFL players and how there is an alternate solution to everyday problems people may face.

Not only does marijuana treat chronic pain, but it is not an addictive drug. Players use it as a legitimate pain reliever and The Washington Post said, “Far less dangerous and potentially addictive than, say, oxycontin.”

Even though many people think it is nonaddictive, it has been viewed as a gateway drug.

Marijuana can lead to new drugs, but that doesn’t mean it should be viewed as more harmful to use for people who can control themselves and use it for medicinal purposes.

Derrick Morgan said, “I’m concerned about my health. I’m going on year seven playing in the NFL, and I think we need to know what the options are when it comes to taking care of our bodies.”

Addiction to these opioids is much more dangerous. That kind of addiction does not stop when the game is over. It can continue when they retire from the game as well.

The NFL, along with all other professional sports leagues in the United States, should consider allowing their players who suffer from pain and injuries to use this drug in order to ease their pain.

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