On Monday, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll came out in support of exploring the benefits of medical marijuana in the NFL, says ESPN. Marijuana is currently a banned substance in the NFL, and players can face fines and suspensions if they test positive for the drug.
“I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible,” said Carroll, who will lead the Seahawks in the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Feb 2.
Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, weighed in last week, saying that “(the NFL) will follow medicine, and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that. Our medical experts are not saying that right now.”
The NFL has come under fire for its handling of its players' mental and physical injuries sustained during play. In a recent poll, 85 percent of NFL players polled said they would play in the Super Bowl with a concussion. After increased awareness and incidents related to concussions (taking place both during a player's career and after retirement), the NFL has extensive tests and treatments to determine a player's eligibility for play after they have suffered a concussion.
The upcoming Super Bowl has jokingly been referred to as the “Stoner Bowl” because the two teams represent the only two states in the country that have legalized recreational marijuana use, but integrating medical marijuana into the NFL’s treatment options faces a number of issues, most prominently that federal law prohibits moving marijuana across state lines.