Meanwhile, many teams remain under careful scrutiny for reckless distribution of prescription painkillers
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on Mike & Mike to discuss the NFL draft and and reiterated his steadfast insistence on the dangers of marijuana in the league. Players who see the medicinal benefits of marijuana should not expect the league to reverse or even relax its marijuana policy anytime soon.
His exact words on the radio/TV show were:
"We've been studying that through our advisers. To date, they haven't said, ‘This is a change we think you should make that is in the best interest of the health and safety of our players.' If they do, we're certainly going to consider that. But to date, they haven't really said that.”
In what seemed to be a direct contradiction, possibly to maintain the optics of an open-minded, progressive league, he left the door open that medical marijuana could one day be allowed, but he framed the prospect as distant at best, saying, “Medical marijuana is something that is evolving, and that's something that at some point the medical advisers may come to us and say, ‘This is something you should consider.’”
Meanwhile in the league, as in the rest of the country, the opioid crisis continues to spiral out of control, with the league and team practices under investigation for the alleged reckless distribution of prescription painkillers, putting the utility of the players over their safety and health.
As medical marijuana makes inroads, both as a stand-alone medical treatment for chronic issues and as a safer alternative to prescription painkillers, it appears that the NFL isn’t prepared to treat it any differently than other illegal drugs, even amidst the country’s widespread allowance of the drug for recreational and medical purposes.