Should Professional Athletes Be Allowed To Use Medical Marijuana

By Benji Garcia-Reyes

IG: @themedimexican

One of the many purposes of medical marijuana is to heal, ease, and aide psychological and physiological trauma, ailments, and injuries. Most professional athletes push both their bodies and minds past any other normal working conditions. Allowing professional athletes to responsibly use Medical Marijuana for therapy, healing, rehab, and stress relief is the not only the right thing to do, it is the next logical step in a money-driven business that will soon meet the cannabis world. Not to mention the fact that there are plenty of examples of current and former athletes who, discreetly, without permission, or even openly, use medical marijuana in their sports regiment, healing aide, or in other therapeutic forms.

Ricky Williams, Eugene Monroe, Lyle Turley, Jake Plummer and Jim McMahon are just a few former NFL players who advocate for the use of medical marijuana and testify to its benefits. Other professional athletes include Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps and snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, former NBA All-Star (and Survivor contestant) Cliff “Uncle Cliffy” Robinson, MMA fighter Nick Diaz and pro wrestler Rob Van Dam. Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan, the only active NFL player publicly advocating for cannabis.

It has come to a point now where being stubborn against the use of medical marijuana by pro athletes, is costing everyone big bucks–not just the fined player but now the team owners as well. It costs team owners in terms of wins and investment in players. For example, the Cleveland Browns’ very talented Josh Gordon, whose promising career continues to derail due to failed tests. And, let’s not forget the Fantasy Football implications that can affect millions of “owners” worldwide by costing them millions. The healing factor of marijuana is perhaps the best benefit of it all; supporting the careers of such prized talents instead of suspending or impeding them would increase the chances in seeing a return on their investments.

Unknowing to most fans, the media, or at times, other players, cannabis has already been around showing benefits and results for years. Former NFL offensive lineman Eben Britton confessed to playing while high and doing better. In a September 2016 article in the NY Post, Britton said “NFL games I played stoned were some of the best games I ever played,” he says. “A lot of people say [cannabis users] are useless when they smoke weed. But hell, I played NFL games [while stoned], dude. My performances were solid and I felt really good after.”

In an August 2016 Forbes article, Jim McAlpine, founder of “The 420 Games” and partner of Ricky Williams in the “Power Plant Fitness” gym, said there are two ways to incorporate cannabis into a fitness regimen. Post-workout for pain and muscle recovery or using cannabis for focus. “Whether it’s the gym, skiing, jogging, or swimming, it allows my mind to laser focus.”

The “420 Games” and Ricky Williams’ “Power Plant Fitness” gym are more proof that there is a fast growing subculture of medical cannabis and sports. In time, cannabis will become necessary in the NFL because it works, it can extend careers, and it is a much healthier alternative to the current opiate-based systems. Aside from it being their human right to medicate, allowing these athletes to do so would be the best for both sides. Athletes train, rest, and heal so they might last longer, play better, and be more effective; ultimately yielding more fruitful results for the leagues, tournaments, competitions and team owners.