Mark Brunell: Marijuana Testing in NFL Should Be Stricter, Ex-Jet Says

Friday, 07 Feb 2014 06:26 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Former Jets player Mark Brunell spoke up Friday in opposition to the pro-marijuana position taken by the Jets’ Antonio Cromartie and Steelers safety Ryan Clark, saying he thinks the NFL should not allow players to use the drug.

“There's really no place for marijuana in the NFL. It is harmful. It hurts brain function. It hurts brain development. Marijuana can ruin lives. I'm very much against it," Brunell told ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Friday.

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Brunell said bluntly that NFL guidelines on marijuana need to be stronger.

“They (Players) smoke because they can,” he said. “The NFL has to decide on what it has to do. I think if you’re going to test for marijuana, it needs to be random, it needs to be often. It has to be stricter, just like the performance enhancing drug testing is going to be strict.”

Cromartie, during an interview on “This is 50,” said marijuana finds such widespread use because it offers pain control for the players.

“They need to just let it go,” he told the show’s Ashlee Ray. “Players are just going to do it anyway. They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, ‘Y'all go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.’”

Brunell told ESPN about NFL marijuana usage, “A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, 'If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.' Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it."

The topics of marijuana and football have been joined more lately as both Super Bowl teams — the Broncos and the Seahawks — came from states where marijuana is legal.

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