05/20/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/20/2019 15:45
National Football League players may be a small step closer to being able to legally use cannabis to treat their pain.
The NFL Players Association and the league have agreed to study the possible use of cannabis by players to treat pain, The Washington Post reported.
The move signals a potentially huge shift for the league, which doesn't allow players to use marijuana for pain. Several former players, and a few current ones, have been outspoken about the possible pain-relief benefits of cannabis, especially in contrast to league-sanctioned opioids. Several players have said they fear the addiction potential of opioid medications, which have been heavily prescribed to some players, and worry that they leave players in a fog.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said previously the league might consider a change if medical science clearly established that cannabis was effective for treating pain, and safe.
The league and the players union will form two committees to provide medical recommendations. The committees will also review league and team policies and practice surrounding prescription painkillers.
Any major policy changes would need to be negotiated through the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players union. The league and the union negotiate the terms of the current drug policy, which is administered by the league and the union jointly. The current collective bargaining agreement runs through the 2020 season.