As the New England Patriots prepared to face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first game of the 2015 NFL season, players and fans alike are curious when Roger Goodell will get off the medical marijuana fence, allowing players in the NFL to medicate with a medicinal herb rather than addictive pharmaceutical narcotics.

Wake-up Roger and smell the skunk in the room

In Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon – damn, even in our nation’s capital – the recreational consumption of marijuana is now considered the social norm, and is perfectly legal. Despite this incredible progress, testing positive for THC in the NFL is generally considered bad form – netting the players with elevated THC levels an extended stay in some high-end substance abuse program. And for those recidivists players who opt to continue to self medicate with medical marijuana; get ready for substantial fines and extended suspensions.

While Commissioner Goodell has offered mealy-mouthed support for medical marijuana in the past, “We will obviously follow signs. We 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 continues to demonize players that medicate with cannabis. Ignoring the science and supporting ignorance, the National Football League and Mr. Goodell would prefer their players choke down their prescribed painkillers with alcohol and a good sense of humor.


As it currently stands, the NFL has two separate policies for performance-enhancing substances and recreational drugs. No doubt, if a drug gives the player an unfair advantage, it can compromise the integrity of the game. And that’s far from okay with the heavy hitters in Las Vegas. However marijuana is NOT a performance-enhancing drug. It helps with aches and pains; mitigates neurological damage; relieves severe depression, anxiety, and rage … but it will rarely make you run faster, or jump higher.

Despite the fact that marijuana’s use is recreationally legal in four states, and medicinal is legal in 23, NFL players who test positive for THC metabolites end up being stigmatized as drug users. As workplace policies around the US are subjected to the Darwinian process of marijuana legalization, it could be time for the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) to seriously reconsider the severity with which the NFL is allowed to punish its players for marijuana consumption.

In the below 2014 video, talks to influencers about the strict marijuana drug policy in the NFL. Kyle Turley shares his experience with Marijuana as a medicine to help with the neurological damage caused by head injuries sustained during an all-pro NFL career that ended in 2007.