Jerry Jones is the new NFL crusader for pro-cannabis league rules, stressing concussion benefits and overall brain health. The start of the 2017 National Football League season does not begin for another 5 months. But, behind the scenes, major changes are in motion that could have a serious impact on league stance toward cannabis. That is because Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke at length about revising the NFL marijuana policy. Jones wants the NFL to let its players use cannabis. Jones raised the issue at the owners-only session in Arizona last week. His arguments could set in motion a series of changes that would let players use cannabis.
Cowboy Owner Jerry Jones Calls for an Audible on Pot Policy
Jones is an influential owner in the NFL, meaning his comments on the leagues cannabis rules matter. On the surface, the owners-only meeting was meant to discuss the particulars of renewing current Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract. But the meeting also served as a platform for team owners to raise any and all concerns they may have about the upcoming season.
Knowing that many of his fellow owners are hesitant to speak up about their concerns, Jerry Jones decided to take the lead. Reports say he spoke extensively at the meeting, and that one of his primary concerns was cannabis.
Jones comments indicate he wants things to change in a way that is more beneficial to the players and the league. At the top of his list is cannabis policy. Jones wants the NFL to end its prohibition on cannabis use.
Jones Takes The Players Side In Debate Over Cannabis
It is no wonder Jones is taking a hard stand on changing the leagues stance on cannabis. There are two major reasons for doing so that take the players side on the debate.
For one, the strict NFL substance abuse policies have landed major players in team-crippling or career-ending suspensions. On Jones’ Dallas Cowboys team, three players have been suspended for breaking the leagues substance abuse rules. Those players are linebacker Rolando McClain, and two defensive linemen Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.
But besides suspensions, there is a major case to be made for supporting players use of cannabis for medical reasons. The scandal over concussions and long-term brain injury has rocked the NFL. Medical cannabis research shows strong indications that it can be an effective weapon in the fight against such injuries.
Multiple former players have come out vocally in favor of cannabis. They argue that cannabis is a much safer medicine than the addictive and dangerous prescription opioids doctors typically push on players.
In a league where “no pain no gain” is not just a slogan, but a commandment, needles, pills, and addiction dominate team locker rooms. If the league were to let players use cannabis, Jones and others argue, they could avoid the serious health crisis players currently face.
An Uphill Battle
For the league, the issue over marijuana remains a labor issue. It is a collective bargaining for the players union. If any real changes regarding marijuana do occur, they will like come at the cost of a trade. Players will have to give up something they want to be able to use the cannabis many argue they need.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is an influential owner on many matters across the league. But he has an uphill battle in front of him when it comes to cannabis.
According to sources close to the league, owners-only meetings could become more frequent in the lead-up to the regular season kickoff. If that turns out to be the case, Jones and other owners will have an opportunity to make in impact on one of the biggest challenges facing the league.