The Grass Is Looking Greener

Recreational and medicinal marijuana use is becoming more accepted across the country. How will those changing attitudes affect NFL players looking to manage their pain?

“We’re studying the science. We’ll follow the medical experts.” Those were the words of Roger Goodell at 2009 Congressional hearings where the NFL was interrogated about its concussion policies and protocols. The league (and union) was chastised, even compared to the tobacco industry, for not doing enough in this area. The NFL responded; it has since been on a positive trajectory from the era depicted in League of Denial and Concussion.

This deference to science is now playing out again regarding another issue, one tangentially related to concussion management: marijuana use. Election day saw California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada legalize recreational use of marijuana, while Florida, North Dakota, Montana and Arkansas legalized marijuana for medical purposes. With hundreds of NFL players playing in those states and hundreds more living there in the offseason, the question has arisen whether players will now be able to light up as they please. read more at

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