According to recent media reports, the National Football League (NFL) may be considering changing its substance abuse rules with regard to marijuana. Analysts expect that the NFL may try to use any changes that it makes to its marijuana rules as a negotiating chip during its talks with the NFL players’ union.
A former offensive linesman, Kyle Turley, has also revealed that the NFL is studying the possibility of using cannabis as an alternative to pain killers. Research is being done by the NFL in this regard.
Kyle Turley owns a company that makes CBD supplements for athletes, so he can be expected to have an ear on the ground regarding the developments in the league, especially those developments that may impact his business either positively or adversely.
Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, admitted in January that he had talked to some players’ representatives about marijuana. He added that the medical advisers of the league constantly look at the new research and the available data regarding the effects of cannabis on the players and advise accordingly.
In the past, Goodell was unequivocal in his opposition to the consumption of marijuana in the league. For example, in 2017, the Commissioner told ESPN that ingesting smoke (cannabis) couldn’t in any way be good for an NFL player.
However, recent times have seen a decline in the vigor that the league deploys to enforce its policy on marijuana even if some players have been suspended for testing positive for the substance. Those players were given a chance to return to the league yet previously one would be out for good.
While the news that the NFL may be thinking about changing its policy on cannabis may be good, industry advocates are wondering what the Commissioner and his team have up their sleeves. For example, what kind of concessions do they want to squeeze out of the players’ union in return for altering the policy on cannabis?
What these advocates had expected were statements to the effect that the NFL regrets any past actions that may have driven players into opioid addiction yet cannabis would have saved them and kept them playing. This is exactly what is happening in the states that are legalizing recreational cannabis. There is an admission that the war on drugs meted out untold suffering on sections of the population, and that legalization wants to put that past behind.
VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) and other industry players like Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF) hope that the NFL changes its cannabis policy for the right reasons, instead of using it as a tool to manipulate the players.
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