Marijuana for a long time has been the best friend of professional athletes. Endless amounts come out after their career and admit to smoking after a game to relieve pain and stress, or even being high during games. Even with the high usage among players it has continued to be a banned substance in most if not all major leagues. Josh Gordon was a up and coming receiver in the NFL, In 2013 he posted 1,600+ yards and nine touchdowns in just 14 games. Then it was revealed he failed a drug test for marijuana and was drunk and high every game. While still being the best receiver in the league that very same season. Now josh gordon has been suspended so many times it could be permanent.
Ricky Williams is the perfect example of this, he is one of the most egregious examples of how this policy was wrong. Unlike Josh Gordon, Ricky only smoked weed and had no off the field issues. He was a heisman trophy winner for the University of Miami in 1998, He started smoking his heisman season. He said “ I really used it as an aid to recovery,” he said. “After busting my ass at practice, I’d come home and smoke a little bit, and I felt good. It helped me get up the next day, ready to go back to work.” But then he was busted and the NFL sent him to rehab with three counselors and made him lose the love of the game as a hall of fame potential running back. But now that the drug is legal and more acceptable these stigmas and punishments are corroding along with the stigma in everyday life.
But just yesterday, The NBA was the final professional sports league to stop testing for marijuana, a trend set by the MLB and shortly followed by the NFL. I completely agree with these decisions. The physical trauma these athletes endure, day-in, day out is inhuman, especially football. In a sport where your main goal is take someone out every play, many times with your head, you are going to need some type of medicine to help yourself, so why not a universal, safe, naturally occurring drug instead of opiods?
Then there are the athletes that don’t get caught during their time in sports. There are countless examples of athletes like Harrison Barnes, Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, etc, etc most of your favorite athletes smoke weed to relax. Calvin Johnson, or megatron, a first ballot hall of famer, who set tons of records in the NFL, revealed in an interview after he retired “ I can get Vicodin, I can get Oxy[contin]. It was too available. I used Percocet and stuff like that. And I did not like the way that made me feel. I had my preferred choice of medicine. Cannabis.” The Opioid epidemic is a whole other problem that kills millions of people every year. Cannabis has never killed anyone just by getting high. If these athletes are choosing a safer substance to keep themselves going to perform for the fans then they should be left to do their own thing and people should just mind their own business.