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NFL Marijuana Poll: Players Say Legalization Would Cut Painkiller Use

NFL Marijuana Poll: Players Say Legalization Would Cut Painkiller Use

An ESPN poll found that two-thirds of NFL players think legalizing marijuana would reduce the use of prescription painkillers. (Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 03 November 2016 04:09 PM

An NFL marijuana poll by ESPN showed that two-thirds of NFL players surveyed thought that being allowed to use medical marijuana would reduce the use of, and risk of addiction to, prescription painkillers.

Medical marijuana is legal in 25 states plus the District of Columbia, but the NFL’s policies don’t allow its use. Players can be fined and/or suspended for having more than 35 ng/mL or more of marijuana in the bloodstream, according to ESPN.

Players with previously clean drug testing records are required to be tested randomly once each year between April and August. Most NFL players didn’t think the drug tests were hard to beat, however.

The poll surveyed 226 players about their perceptions of pain treatment in the NFL. There are nearly 2,000 NFL players, including active rosters and practice squad members. Sixty-one percent of players surveyed thought that fewer patients would take shots of painkillers like Toradol if marijuana were an option, ESPN reported.

Marijuana has fewer known side effects than Toradol, which is classified as a narcotic. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed reported taking Toradol or other pain control injections at least once during their careers. Close to 60 percent of the players surveyed also said they were worried about long-term effects of chemical painkillers, such as addiction. Forty-two percent said they have had at least one teammate become addicted to these substances.

One anonymous player noted the irony of the current rules about medical marijuana use. “It’s legal where I live, but not where I work,” he said.

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An NFL marijuana poll by ESPN showed that two-thirds of NFL players surveyed thought that being allowed to use medical marijuana would reduce the use of, and risk of addiction to, prescription painkillers.
nfl, marijuana, poll, painkiller
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2016-09-03
Thursday, 03 November 2016 04:09 PM
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