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Will the NFL allow players to use cannabis? League wants science to determine drug policy

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is open to looking at alternative pain medications to help players, but it’s unclear if the league would allow marijuana under a revamped drug policy. (Getty Images)

The question is simple enough: Should the NFL soften its hard-line stance on marijuana?

No one with the Chargers cares to answer, a team spokesman says. Same goes for the Rams where, at a summertime practice, one player after another declines to comment.

As veteran Rams safety Eric Weddle says: “It’s kind of tricky.”

This reticence might seem unusual given that league executives recently agreed to include cannabis in a study of alternative pain therapies.

But pro football has a history of keeping marijuana on the banned substance list, even as public opinion has gravitated toward its legalization and available research has identified its potential to alleviate a range of ailments.

Players wanting to use cannabis or related products, such as Cannabidiol extract, have needed to do so quietly, sidestepping periodic tests. When Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the new NFL initiative last spring, he chose his words carefully.

“There are a lot of alternative pain medications and treatments,” he said.

Any suggestion of an impending policy shift might be premature. With the start of another season, the loudest call for change has come from former stars who claim the league has, for too long, overlooked a therapy for not only aching knees and shoulders but also, perhaps, brain trauma.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By David Wharton on Los Angeles Times

Published: September 06, 2019

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