Posted January 27, 2014

Pete Carroll believes NFL should explore medicinal pot; Terrance Knighton urges caution

AFC West, Denver Broncos, NFC West, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII
Pete Carroll believes the NFL should follow in the footsteps of the medical world, regardless of stigma.

Pete Carroll believes the NFL should follow in the footsteps of the medical world, regardless of stigma. (Elsa/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY — Super Bowl week has only just begun, but already it’s clear what one talking point may be: marijuana usage in the NFL.

Commissioner Roger Goodell caught most people off-guard last week when he said that the league would look into the effects of marijuana should its medical experts deem the drug helpful in treating head injuries. Those comments came shortly after former Denver Broncos receiver Nate Jackson said on HBO’s Real Sports that he had smoked pot during his playing career.

“For me, personally, [marijuana as a painkilling alternative is] very viable,” Jackson said, according to Awful Announcing. “I prefer it. Marijuana was something that helped me, as the season wore on my body would start to break down. I was in a lot of pain.”

Seattle coach Pete Carroll and multiple Broncos players were asked about the topic during Monday’s limited media availability. And Carroll, for one, supports a deeper dive into the research.

“I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible,” Carroll said. “Regardless of what other stigmas might be involved, we have to do this because the world of medicine is doing this.”

Denver’s Terrance Knighton, meanwhile, admitted that he was unaware of Goodell’s comments — “Well that’s news to me. … I don’t really get caught up in the whole marijuana thing.” — but cautioned against the NFL opening those doors.

“I think with something like that, it may be helpful, but it is also something that can be abused,” Knighton said. “So I think that’s why it’s banned and that’s why it’s on the list, because it can be abused and it can backfire. It’s a touchy subject, but whatever is best, they’ll figure it out.”

That the Super Bowl XLVIII teams happen to come from the two states (Denver and Washington) where recreational marijuana is now legal certainly will fuel the discussion in the coming days. Carroll’s Seahawks lost multiple players to suspensions reportedly brought on by marijuana use this season, too — Walter Thurmond was hit with a four-game penalty, while Brandon Browner was banned for at least a year.

Goodell did not offer any specifics regarding how medicinal marijuana might be utilized within the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

“I know right now they are trying to do whatever they can to help players post-career and they’re looking into everything,” Knighton said. “But it’s illegal right now and it’s something against the rules, so I stay away from that.”

MCCANN: The Merits of the NFL Allowing Marijuana as a Pain Killer

16 comments
rdorff555
rdorff555

Pot has the capability of altering basic perception, including sight, sound, and spacial reckoning.

It can and does have different effects on different people.  Use should be banned in games, but okay afterward.

BarrySoetoro
BarrySoetoro

Typical CaliFornicator--his team is already a bunch of druggies--he just wants it to be legal.

RecordSeal
RecordSeal

Pete the Cheat, the man who slide out of LA before the NCAA could blast his lying smooth talking, California surfer dude BS. Pete it's the year of the HORSE...Bronco's will stampede your lying, cheating BS ....chump.


Matthew W
Matthew W

Of course he does, Adderall too. That means he won't lose more players to PEDs and illegal drugs to future suspensions.

MalloryParker
MalloryParker

Given that over 100,000 people die each year from using their own prescription medicines exactly as the doctor directed them to, and the fact that pain pills are notoriously addicting, the NFL is wise to consider allowing players to use cannabis as pain medication, if nothing else.  I am not sure is Goodel is being disingenuous when he speaks of linking cannabis to head injuries. since there is no overwhelming body of evidence regarding this particular use of cannabis and that may be his 'bolthole', but the ability of cannabis to safely and effectively manage chronic pain is thoroughly documented.  If the commissioner is serious about cannabis use in the NFL, he might consider that the success of this year's teams just MIGHT be due to a more relaxed social atmosphere in these two states regarding cannabis, and thence, a player's willingness to use cannabis instead of...alcohol, for example.  More relaxed players who are not battling hangovers or pain pill addiction just might play at a higher level.  (Pray excuse the pun).  And just to pick a certain nit, the article says that "That the Super Bowl XLVIII teams happen to come from the two states (Denver and Washington) "... Denver is not exactly a state.  It is Colorado that legalized cannabis.  

IanHartless
IanHartless

I knew Chris Burke was a two-bit hack, but I didn't think he'd ever call Denver a state.

Cool
Cool

@MalloryParker I was convinced Denver was a state... lol, but I was high at the time.

foothillsco
foothillsco

@RegFieldsThey said that about Vietnam too.  This is a stupid cliche with nothing to support it.  People that don't like something but aren't sure why use this saying.


My next favorite asinine saying: What's next, people will marry their pets?