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Marijuana is not a valid drug on the National Football League’s (NFL) drug policy. However, in this essay I will look into the study of using marijuana as a pain management source for NFL players.
As an adolescent, I was warned about the effects of the marijuana drug. However, exploring marijuana in this context has made me somewhat objective in this matter. It was interesting to learn how the lives of football players in the NFL have been altered by the injuries they’ve sustained over the years playing this sport and even more astounding to me is players’ claims of marijuana helping them recover substantially. Allowing players to receive medicinal marijuana, if needed, can help them cope with the dangerous physical and mental strains they develop while playing football; it would also help them avoid being penalized for testing positive for the substance. Management also benefits from this because “the league can lose money from suspending their stars.” Players who would otherwise face suspension under the current policy would be allowed to play. Unfortunately, some challenges can also arise from public knowledge of players taking marijuana even for pain relief. Players need to consider society’s view on them as they can be perceived as thugs under the influence. Monitoring the use of this drug is important also to prevent it from becoming an addiction which is another possibility the players face. From a management perspective, “the NFL needs to protect its name and finances”. It is important that the NFL consider its position in this matter as “a business that is heavily exposed to the public”. Additionally, the cost of further scientific research on using marijuana to relief pain may prove to be costly. While the team’s doctors and the medical industry as a whole can benefit financially from an increase in demand and gain further knowledge of how marijuana works to reduce pain, they will be under more pressure to conduct testing that will prove the drug to be a necessity on a case by case basis. Physicians have to exercise discretion when prescribing medical marijuana because it “remains a Schedule I drug on the federal level, defined as a substance with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Another concern is that currently researchers “are limited to studying a relatively narrow range of cannabis products.” The Leagues’ Chief Medical Officer, Allen Sills stated “we have more opinion than we do science on the use of marijuana for pain”.
To help address these concerns, a plan to ensure that players receive the therapy under the supervision of trained physicians who can manage their intake should be put into place. The NFL can apply funds for ongoing studies of marijuana and how it can be a positively influence medicine. The team doctors can conduct thorough examinations that determine if marijuana will help. Team doctors can also schedule periodic visits to test players and ensure the intake of the substance is adequate with what was prescribed and is still needed.
Football is a robust sport in which the body is fully affected and like with other rigorous sports, the injuries incurred during a player’s work span can have detrimental long-lasting effects. In light of this common knowledge, NFL management should follow through with its decision to dig deeper in to marijuana and how it has and can aide in pain management. Currently, “marijuana has 22 states with a legal avenue to access medical cannabis products.” Players must continue to shed light on this subject by sharing their experiences and by contributing to businesses that support this cause. Former New England Patriot tight end Rob Gronkowski joined forces with a company that sells cannabidol products. The NFL’s team doctors can develop methods for testing and treatments that could help determine if a player will benefit from using medicinal marijuana to treat his injury and physical ailments.
Needless to say, the cooperation of all who are involved in this issue is important in obtaining desired outcomes. Making decisions while taking into account the concerns of everyone who is impacted can be difficult. From the players’ perspective, the help they receive to ease the pain they struggle with daily, will improve their quality of life and possibly prevent long-lasting effects from injuries. Players can also ascertain if they want to continue playing football if the organization opposes the use of medicinal marijuana in their pain treatments. Also, new incoming players will be at ease knowing their mental and physical well-being is at the forefront of the NFL’s concerns. After conducting their due diligence, management will be able to make informed decisions and feel confident that the choices they make are good for the players and the organization as a whole. Lastly, dealing with new injuries, doctors will learn of new ways in which marijuana may help players. Overall, the medical industry will gain additional knowledge of how the substance works, its side effects and become more confident in working with it.
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