Since marijuana legalization in Colorado, California and Washington, we are starting to see an increase of marijuana consumption in the NFL. Many, if not most still frown upon this as it is still considered a schedule 1 narcotic and illegal on the federal level and the NFL has a zero tolerance policy. Many players despite the fact of these rules continue to medicate with cannabis after a game, and many more are coming forward openly about their consumption of medical marijuana.
So why leave players in a state of constant pain? The NFL will tell you they do have team doctors who make sure their players are cared for. What they do not tell you is that these players have no option in the care that they are receiving. There's a reason they call them team doctors, because it has the team's interests in mind not the individual at hand. Many players are given large scripts of pain medication, anti- inflammatory drugs and injections, just to keep them in the game for that big play. The health and pain of players do not come into consideration when the team you play for needs you.
So why is it such a big deal for players to consume marijuana? One of the reasons is because as a professional football player you forfeit the right to pick the best care option for you. The NFL owns you once you become a professional athlete and most do not realize what a professional athlete has to give up just to keep playing the game they love and are so good at. There are many reasons still that the NFL will not let their players utilize marijuana, one being the image it will create for the NFL, their sponsors, and its team. They're not concerned about the well-being of the players who have suffered countless head injuries, multiple bruises, broken bones and others serious injuries, some injuries that cause lifelong issues even after they are done in the NFL. Many players state the only way to cope with the pain is to smoke it away.
Former Broncos player Nate Jackson has finally come forward and opened up about his marijuana consumption for the pain that is associated with injuries sustained while playing in the NFL. Most people today when taking a first glance at Nate, don't even know that he is a former pro football player, and that's how he likes to keep it. Nate Jackson and his buddy Jake Plummer are at the forefront of fighting the NFL's zero tolerance policy as well as urging others to support this.
As Nate states, “we give up everything for our teams the one thing we should be able to have saying in is our health care". He even explained how he would never consume marijuana before a game but after games, that was the only thing that could cure is pain. He always took his anti-inflammatory medication that was prescribed to him by the team doctor but had a hard time taking the narcotics such as Vicodin or Percocet that they tried to shove down his throat for pain. They'd rather have him play all doped up narcotics then let him simply smoke marijuana after a game.
So just imagine, you're in the worst pain in your life from working, and something you love to do and you are told that you have a zero tolerance policy on the only medication that works for you, that being marijuana. What would you do? Would you continue to medicate and fight for your right to be pain-free or would you let somebody else dictate the well-being of your current and future health because that’s just what the NFL is doing here despite legalization in several states.