PFT – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell … said on Mike & Mike that he continues to believe marijuana is bad for players.
“I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use,” Goodell said. “Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? 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. All of those things have to be considered. And it’s not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game. We really want to help our players in that circumstance but I want to make sure that the negative consequences aren’t something that is something that we’ll be held accountable for some years down the road.”
Goodell did acknowledge, however, the growing body of evidence that marijuana can be used for medical reasons.
“We look at it from a medical standpoint,” Goodell said. “So if people feel that it has a medical benefit, the medical advisers have to tell you that. We have joint advisers, we also have independent advisers, both the NFLPA and the NFL, and we’ll sit down and talk about that.”
“Joint advisers”! I love it! Roger Goodell actually made a joke! Oh, wait. No he didn’t. That was unintentional. He’d have to have a soul first. Never mind.
What I love about this is that once again we have the Commissar talking with his state-run media in perfect Goodellspeak. He speaks like he’s a sentient life form sent to us in a space pod to study human beings and try to learn our ways. And if he can just learn to mimic our speech patterns, we won’t discover what he is under his human shell. “… that’s not a very positive thing that people would say. It does have addictive nature. The negative consequences. Medical advisers. Klaatu barada nikto. …”
By way of full disclosure, I am not a pot guy. It’s not a moral issue and it’s not a generational thing. I just never much cared for it. But I do about 20 things on a daily basis that are way more addictive and unhealthy than a hit of Pineapple Kush. Most of them sold by major sponsors of the NFL. We don’t need to study beer, chicken wings and whole bags of Pizza Cravers/Ranch Doritos Collisions to know they have negative consequences. But while I’m a writer, not a doctor, dammit I’m convinced the benefits of smoking weed are legitimate in a lot of cases.
When I was at WEEI I shot a video at the Boston Cannabis Convention. It was meant to be a kind of a fish-out-of-water thing, where all these pot users are in their element and I’m the one that’s not part of the culture. And about half of the people I talked to started smoking for legit medical reasons. There were these two guys there, one in his 20s and the other in his 50s who were like the Jesse Pinkman and Walter White of pot. And the older guy explained to me how he has this neural condition that gives him a palsy shake so bad he couldn’t piss without spraying it all over his bathroom. Doctors pumped him full of a Walgreen’s worth of prescription drugs that only made him feel worse. But smoking the Devil’s Lettuce controls his condition. How do you meet a guy like that and say “Sorry, no weed for you. You’ll have to just keep shaking, Shakey.”
For a league that has to know it’s standing with a noose around it’s neck on top of a rickety table called CTE, it’s asinine if not purely negligent to not seriously consider un-banning pot. At the very least reducing the punishment to something less than a quarter of the season suspension for a positive test of Facewreck Haze. And quick preaching like a high school science health video about the dangerous side effects while you’re giving out two game suspensions to guys who beat the shit out of their wives. After all, that wasn’t a bong hit that made Ray Rice dribble his fiancee’s head of the handrail of that escalator.
Goodell is keeping the hard line on marijuana only because he’s afraid it’ll make sponsors uncomfortable if he relaxes the policy and for no other reason. If we found out tomorrow that pot helps alleviate concussion symptoms, he’d still ban it because he wouldn’t want to offend CEOs from the Bible Belt or wherever, who’d rather pretend they never went to college than maybe cure a real problem. I just wish Goodell would smoke once in a while. I might make him practically human.