s we approach the reality of an NFL team coming to Nevada, which is a medical marijuana state currently, and possibly a recreational state in the next few months, we expect this topic to heat up more.
Marijuana in the NFL has been a hot topic lately with more and more players coming out and speaking up about cannabis usage for recovery and pain. Weediquette, a new show on Viceland covered this in their first episode. As we approach the reality of an NFL team coming to Nevada, which is a medical marijuana state currently, and possibly a recreational state in the next few months, we expect this topic to heat up more. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Here is the trailer for Weediquette from Viceland:
At first blush, football and weed seem culturally antithetical—war enacted on a playing field vs. “Peace and love, let’s smoke a joint.” But anecdotally speaking, many NFL players smoke pot. It’s an open secret that everyone knows about. It’s banned by the NFL, but the league only tests before the season begins, which means that if you piss clean that one time, you can smoke weed after the game and after practice.
NFL player Eugene Monroe, who at the time of filming played for the Baltimore Ravens, got in touch with me on Twitter. He was the only current NFL player who was advocating openly for legal pot as a medicine, so his journey becomes our journey, in a sense. He loves football—loves playing it, loves hitting people, loves the competition, loves the spotlight. He’s been playing since he was 11, but he knows that the toll he’s taking on his head and his brain might mean that his life could be ruined years down the line.
It’s in the NFL’s own interest to be at the forefront of testing weed as neuroprotectors. Anything that can be done to better protect players and make the sport safer, thereby encouraging a younger generation to get involved, will only serve to protect their bottom line. So why does the league categorically deny that pot could have any preventative or helpful effects?
We talked to ESPN columnist Pablo Torre who told us simply that weed is still scary to middle America. The NFL makes billions of dollars selling its product to middle America, and it doesn’t want to jeopardize that business model. Tracing marijuana’s move to the mainstream, you see it intersect with cultures that wouldn’t otherwise consider it. This is a moment where, if the NFL would step up and test pot for its potential benefit as a neuroprotectant, it could have all kinds of ripple effects in terms of how we understand the plant.