Tag: CTE

The NFL Moves Closer to Ending Cannabis Suspensions

I’m still flying high after my Kansas City Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years (which led to an eventful parade where someone smoked a joint on a horse, but I digress) and I’m ecstatic that the National Football League is moving towards a sensible cannabis policy that will stop suspending players for utilizing cannabis. There are many serious issues with the NFL, one being that traumatic brain injuries caused by the violent sport can lead to devastating effects for those that suffer those injuries, and tragically to innocent people harmed by those players as well. Also, addiction to painkillers can be a huge issue for players as their careers often depend upon their ability to perform through various injuries.

The evidence suggests that repeated traumatic brain injuries can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Sadly, CTE can lead to severe behavioral issues and dementia. Famously, former New England Patriots NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was convicted of murder and committed suicide while in prison, was found to have severe CTE and he was only 27 years of age.

The ability to utilize cannabis may benefit a lot of players who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and it will certainly be beneficial for them to have a less addictive and less deadly option to utilize over narcotics like OxyContin. Forbes reported on the potential agreement that will end suspensions for cannabis use:

National Football League players would no longer face the possibility of being suspended from games just for testing positive for marijuana under a proposed collective bargaining agreement approved by team owners and circulated to players on Thursday.

The new policy being floated for approval by the the NFL Players Association would also reduce the number of players subject to testing for cannabis and narrow the window when tests can be administered from the current four months to just two weeks at the start of training camp.

The three-page summary of key terms of the union deal also includes an increase in the threshold for positive THC metabolite tests from 35 to 150 nanograms.

There are some details and votes to be completed before this new cannabis suspension policy goes into effect, but it is great to see the NFL finally start advancing with the times. Love or hate sportsballs, leagues like the NFL play a huge part in American culture. While we advance legalization across the nation and word, improving our community’s stance with influential segments of our society is a part of our battle for freedom and equality.