Medical Marijuana in Professional Sports
2018 has been a huge year for medical marijuana and cannabis use, and it has only been a few months so far!
One area where medical marijuana use has seen a flurry of activity is professional sports.
There have been years of debate about whether medical marijuana should be allowed in professional athletics or not, and 2018 has brought this debate front and center.
Although some worry about the repercussions of allowing athletes to use cannabis to treat themselves, the cultural shift towards allowing cannabis in sports is in full swing!
Does Medical Marijuana Have a Place in the Lives of Athletes?
If you were to listen to any number of NFL players or outspoken athletes such as NBA superstar Karl-Anthony Towns, medical marijuana should be the preferred medicine for many athletes around the world.
The reason for this is very simple; medical marijuana manages pain and inflammation in the body better than nearly anything else.
For a professional athlete, managing pain and inflammation-based health problems are a daily job.
Along with managing pain and inflammation, medical marijuana has shown efficacy in treating numerous other health problems that any person on the planet could be dealing with.
Banning medical marijuana from professional sports is essentially excluding these individuals from the treatment they need!
One example of this is professional basketball player Adam Kemp, who claims that cannabidiol (CBD) products are the only effective treatment he has ever used for managing Tourette’s Syndrome.
Medical marijuana is the best, and only, natural treatment option for many health issues.
If it remains banned from professional sports, athletes around the world will not have the option to treat themselves as well as they could!
Why is Medical Marijuana Banned from Professional Sports?
As simple as it is to say, medical marijuana is banned from sports primarily due to the stigma of the “lazy stoner.”
The National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell has gone on record stating,
“Listen, you’re ingesting smoke, so that’s not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term.”
The ironic part about this is, reports are becoming more and more conclusive that legitimately 100% of NFL players end up with permanent and debilitating brain damage.
If the NFL was truly focused on player safety, it would not even be in business!
Contrarily, the NFL finds nothing wrong with providing players an endless supply of opioids to manage pain and injuries caused by this violent sport.
Many players end up with brain damage and opioid addiction from playing in the NFL, but the “stigma” around marijuana is too much for them to handle.
Luckily, there are more progressive governing bodies for different professional sports who are leading the way!
What Are the Next Steps for Medical Marijuana to Be Included in Professional Athletics?
As it is now, medical marijuana is inching its way as a treatment option for professional athletes.
Although medical marijuana is still banned per the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA did loosen its grip this year as it officially took the cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) off of its banned substance list.
Following this, the NAPB (North American Premier Basketball League), became the first professional sports league in the United States to fully adapt CBD as a medical treatment option for its players.
The NBA has also become more and more prevalent in moving towards the acceptance of medical marijuana, especially as former Commissioner David Stern and current Commissioner Adam Silver have openly discussed the benefits of bringing it into basketball.
In February of 2018, the executive director of the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association), Michele Roberts, claimed that the players are focused on making this an available treatment option in the near future.
With the NBA apparently leading this progressive movement, it appears to be only a short while until the first of the 4 major professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL) has adopted medical marijuana as an accepted treatment method.