Professional athletes have turned to cannabis for many years for wellness, relaxation, and/or recreational purposes. Cannabis is non-toxic, and has been proven to be 114 times safer than alcohol. Cannabis prohibition is a failed, harmful policy which are all reasons why the Uncle Cliffy team fights to free the plant and help kill the stigma surrounding responsible cannabis use.
Calls to end cannabis prohibition in professional sports, especially in the National Football League (NFL) have been growing in number. As long as the NFL and other sports leagues prohibit cannabis use among players, they are supporting and contributing to the needless destruction of some athletes’ careers and lives.
Cannabis prohibition is a racist policy, both in society and in professional sports leagues. African Americans are almost 4 times as likely to be arrested for cannabis, even though consumption rates between African Americans and other races are roughly the same. In parts of Missouri specifically, the racial disparity for cannabis arrests for African Americans is even greater, with African Americans being 18 times as likely to be arrested for cannabis. If an African American NFL player is 18 times as likely to be arrested for cannabis in certain parts of Missouri compared to whites, they are also 18 times as likely to be punished by the NFL for cannabis compared to their Caucasian colleagues. There’s no other way around it.
A strong majority (60%) of the American public supports ending cannabis prohibition, with recent polling showing majority support specifically for ending cannabis prohibition in professional sports leagues. 71% of NFL players think that medical cannabis should be legal in every state in America. 76.5% of sports media members support ending cannabis prohibition.
Support for cannabis reform in leagues like the NFL is at a fevered pitch. Proof of that came today when it was reported that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones came out in support of ending cannabis prohibition in the NFL while talking at a recent owner’s only meeting. Per Pro Football Talk:
Jones also raised the question of the NFL’s position on marijuana. Jones, per a source who heard the comments, wants the league to drop its prohibition on marijuana use. Jones was reminded that the issue falls under the umbrella of collective bargaining, which would require the players to make one or more concessions in exchange for significant changes to the marijuana prohibition.
Separately, the league office reiterated to PFT its position that any changes to the substance-abuse policy would occur within the confines of labor negotiations, and that the league is willing to listen to the medical community about any potential changes to the rules regarding marijuana.
This is a very significant development in the sports cannabis world. Jerry Jones is obviously not the ‘average owner,’ not by a long shot. Jerry Jones has owned the Dallas Cowboys since 1989 and is one of the most recognizable figures in all of sports. The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable sports team on the entire planet. If Jerry Jones supports ending cannabis prohibition in the NFL, it’s an endorsement that could have serious influence on not only the NFL, but other sports leagues that prohibit cannabis.
Earlier this year NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came out in direct opposition to cannabis reform in the NFL. That was disheartening news at the time, as it had been previously thought leading up to Roger Goodell’s comments that there was a solid chance that the NFL would take an objective look at the overwhelming available evidence that cannabis helps treat many ailments and make the logical choice to update the NFL’s cannabis policy accordingly. Unfortunately that didn’t appear to happen.
Hopefully Jerry Jones’ recent comments will be backed up by some further action on his part, and that he will continue to urge owners to support ending cannabis prohibition in the NFL. The Uncle Cliffy team doesn’t like seeing cannabis reform being used as a ‘bargaining chip’ against players, and doesn’t feel that NFL players should have to give up anything in return for being able to use a non-toxic plant that is legal in many states, but this is still a significant development. It will be interesting to see how players react. Earlier this year the NFL Players Association announced that it would be putting out policy changes that would take a less punitive approach to cannabis policy.
image via Star-Telegram