National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell made comments on Friday indicating that he continues to support keeping cannabis prohibited in the NFL. His comments included the claim that cannabis has ‘no medical benefits.’ Push back on the comments from cannabis supporters inside and outside of the NFL was swift. A number of media outlets reported Goodell’s comments as being ‘dangerous,’ ‘draconian,’ and ‘pure reefer madness.’

Roger Goodell’s comments put him square in the minority of Americans that believe that cannabis prohibition works. To prove that point, the Uncle Cliffy team has compiled polling results which clearly demonstrate that it’s time to end cannabis prohibition in professional sports.

Fans Respect Athletes That Choose To Make The Safer Choice

Marist College, in conjunction with Yahoo, conducted a poll in which sports fans were asked the following question – ‘Would you have more or less respect for your favorite sports athlete if you learned they used marijuana in their personal life? If it makes no difference please say so.’

A substantial 68% of poll participants expressed that if their favorite sports athlete consumed cannabis that it ‘makes no difference’ to the level of respect that they have for the athlete. An additional 3% stated that they would have more respect. Only 28% of poll respondents stated that they would have less respect for an athlete that consumes cannabis.

NFL Players Overwhelmingly Support Medical Cannabis Reform

ESPN polled NFL players to gauge their level of support for cannabis reform in the NFL. Among other findings, 71% of polled players stated that they feel that medical cannabis should be legal in all 50 states.

The poll did not specifically ask players if they supported medical cannabis legalization in the NFL, but the Uncle Cliffy team feels that it is a safe assumption that support for medical cannabis reform in society transfers over to sports. This is made evident by a recent push by the NFL Player’s Association to make a distinction between recreational and medical use in the NFL.

Legalization for medical purposes would not completely end cannabis prohibition in the NFL, but it would at least end prohibition for players that use cannabis for medical reasons, which the Uncle Cliffy team obviously supports.

Support Has Never Been Greater For Legalization At The National Level

CBS News recently released poll results which showed the highest level of support for cannabis legalization in America that they have ever recorded. A whopping 61% of poll participants stated that they support legalization.

These poll results show a level of support that is dramatically greater than in 1969 when Gallup Polling found that just 12% of Americans supported legalization. The more than 500% surge in support since 1969 is reflective of how much times have changed, and highlight how professional sports leagues that prohibit cannabis have failed to evolve with the dramatic increase in public support.

More Than 3 Out of 4 Sports Media Members Support Legalization In Pro Sports

A poll conducted by The Big Lead looked specifically at the level of support for cannabis reform among sports media members. An astounding 76.5% of poll participants stated that cannabis prohibition should end.

The results of this particular poll are interesting given the fact that sports media members literally have a front row seat to see how prohibition affects pro athletes, both from a health standpoint as well as a social justice standpoint. The huge level of support among sports media members is something that cannot be highlighted enough.

If A Player Can Consume Cannabis Legally In A State Then Leagues Should Allow It

A poll conducted by PRRI found that, “A majority (54%) of the public believe professional athletes should not be prohibited from using marijuana if they live in a state where it is legal.”

As the Uncle Cliffy team has pointed out previously, every Major League Baseball (MLB) team, National Basketball Association (NBA) team, and NFL team are now located in a state that has legalized cannabis in at least CBD-form. The State of Indiana (Pacers and the Colts) was the last remaining state that was a full prohibition state, but a CBD-specific bill was recently signed resulting in zero MLB, NBA, or NFL teams now being located in a 100% prohibition state.


“The math speaks for itself.” Cliff Robinson said. “Cannabis prohibition provides no benefit to professional sports leagues, and a strong majority of fans, players, and even most members of sports media recognize that fact. It is time that professional sports leagues that prohibit cannabis did the same. These leagues need to get on the right side of history.”

Free the plant!