Recreational cannabis use is increasingly becoming legal throughout the United States, but professional sports leagues still prohibit their players from smoking weed. Yet, the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) have decided to put together joint medical committees that will research the effect cannabis has on pain management.
On Monday, the Washington Post's Mark Maske reported that the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to form two committees that will study "a variety of pain-management issues and strategies for players." According to Maske, this will include the effect cannabis has on a player's body and if it aids in pain management.
"We're asking our pain management committee to bring us any and all suggestions," the NFL's chief medical officer Allen Sills explained to Maske. "We'll look at marijuana."
This new study is the NFL's attempt to monitor the health of those that play this brutal sport. Also, it is the two-sides hope that the conclusion of this research will modify the NFL's league-wide drug policy. This is a change that league commissioner Roger Goodell has suggested in the past if the positive effects of marijuana were "established as valid by medical and scientific experts."
The NFL/NFLPA's pain management study comes at a perfect time. Any change to the NFL bylaws can only come when the two sides have their yearly policy meetings or during the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Being as the current CBA expires in 2020, the results of this research might be available for use when reconstructing the new deal.