Long Story Short
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot received negative feedback from team owner Jerry Jones after his visit to a marijuana dispensary. The dispensary was in Seattle, where marijuana is recreationally legal. This negative reaction comes as no surprise with Texas being one of 5 most anti-weed states and the NFL’s anti-marijuana policy.
The Dallas Cowboys were in Seattle for their game against the Seahawks in the first half of a preseason NFL football game. Before the game, rookie Ezekiel Elliot made a trip to Herban Legends, a legal marijuana dispensary in the city. He had his spot blown up by TMZ which is likely how owner Jerry Jones found out about the visit.
After the game against the Seahawks Jones commented on Elliot’s visit saying “it’s just not good.”
Using marijuana is a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. There is no evidence that Elliot purchased anything while at the Herban Legends shop, there’s only evidence of him taking pictures with fans. Jones even admits “it may not be wrong” but he still feels it isn’t a good look. The negative stigma surrounding marijuana in the NFL isn’t helping injured players who could benefit from the plant’s medicinal properties.
NFL Players Negatively Impacted by Marijuana Restrictions
Former running back Jamal Anderson claims that when he was playing, 40-50 percent of players were using marijuana and nowadays he believes about 60% are using it. He says it’s “because players today don’t believe in the stigma that older people associate with smoking it. To the younger guys in the league now, smoking weed is a normal thing, like having a beer. Plus, they know that smoking it helps them with the concussions.”
However, the players using marijuana could face serious consequences if they test positive. Players have to deal with their injuries unaided when they’re being tested.
One assistant coach said “if you tested the players during the season every week we wouldn’t be able to field a league. We’d have to merge with the CFL.”
A simple google search on marijuana and concussions will point to the plants ability to help symptoms and permanent effects from brain injuries.
The NFL is currently in a concussion crisis with players retiring as early as their 20s due to brain-related injuries. Linebacker Chris Borland and offensive Anthony Davis both retired before 30 due to the severity of their brain-related injuries.
In one study, 15 out of 16 players claimed they used marijuana for medical purposes like easing soreness and pain from injuries.
Players also believe that marijuana is safer to use than the painkiller drugs that the NFL allows them to use.
The Final Hit
NFL players are being criticized for being anywhere near marijuana. Players are seeing it legalized and finding studies on its benefits but still can’t use it themselves. Even during a concussion crisis, players are barred from using marijuana for medical purposes.