Marijuana has recently been legalized for recreational use in a few states throughout the country. The negative stigma behind the drug has been suppressed due to some cases of the drug helping professional athletes with their injuries and rehabilitation. On the popular’s smoker’s holiday 4/20 a few professional athletes have given their testimonials regarding marijuana use. According to the Washington Post:
During his 15-year NBA career, Matt Barnes developed a reliable game day routine. First there was the morning shoot-around. Then he’d go home for a rest, where he’d do what so many NBA players do during those long afternoons: nap, shower, eat a meal.
But before all that, he’d smoke a joint.
“It wasn’t every single game, but in 15 years, it was a lot,” Barnes told Bleacher Report in a roundtable discussion about marijuana use in sports published this week.
Any best games?
“All my best games I was medicated,” Barnes said.
Barnes isn’t the only athlete who admitted to using during their career. Bleacher Report interviewed a groupl of ex-NBA and ex-NFL players who recounted their marijuana use during their career. Dan Steinberg reported Ex-NBA player Kenyon Martin gave an example of how marijuana use helped him feel better after an injury he suffered:
“We were playing in Indiana one day, I wasn’t feeling well, I had a hamstring or a hip [injury] or something,” said Martin, a former NBA all-star. “So I smoked. I wasn’t going to play originally. So we got to the arena, I was like ‘I feel good.’ I went and told the trainer I’m gonna go today. I went out there and had a great game.”
Many retired players are speaking out on the positive affects of marijuana use and are being supported by current professional athletes. Many players believe that majority of the players are already using and professional leagues should look to re-examine their regulations in regards to marijuana use for their athletes as opposed to the narcotics being prescribed for pain. Washington Post reports that both the NBA and NFL have been made aware of the positive effects of marijuana and new legislation where it has been made legal in certain states. The commissioner’s of each respective league comment:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told Bleacher Report that the league is “interested in better understanding the safety and efficacy” of medical marijuana. The NFL, meanwhile, has offered to work with the players association in studying the potential uses of marijuana for pain management. Union chief DeMaurice Smith has talked about finding a “less punitive” approach, saying ” it’s important to not simply assume recreation is the reason it’s being used.” But Commissioner Roger Goodell has also appeared resistant to major changes.
Marijuana “does have [an] addictive nature,” he said in 2017. “There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long term. All of those things have to be considered. And it’s not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game.”
As of now the NBA appears to be open to examining their regulation of marijuana in their league while the NFL appears skeptical. Flip the page for videos from Bleacher Report where ex-players advocate marijuana use.