The cannabis industry has drawn the support of yet another former NFL player. Nate Jackson, who was tight end for the Denver Bronco’s, played for six years in the mid 2000s. Jackson was the keynote speaker at a cannabis business expo and urged the NFL to change its stance on cannabis. He strongly supports medical marijuana for football players to help them cope with both the physical and psychological impact of the sport.
Jackson is unashamed to talk about his cannabis use as a player. He says he resorted to cannabis because he didn’t want to take prescription opiates and end up addicted to pain pills as many former players do.
“It kept my brain clean,” commented Jackson, “I feel like I exited the game with my mind intact. And I credit that to marijuana in a lot of ways and not getting hooked on these pain pills that are recklessly distributed in the league when a guy gets an injury.”
The former tight end also echoed what many former players have intoned, that cannabis use is rampant in the league and that most players are using it. Players are only tested for street drugs once a year as opposed to the random tests for PEDs that occur year round. Jackson thinks the league is aware that many players smoke weed and that they have been since they were teenagers. He added that the fact that they have been smoking weed so long and still made it through the hard path to the NFL should be evidence that cannabis isn’t such a big deal. Simply put Jackson said, “marijuana is not a problem in their lives.”
He cited the comments from the NFL that say they will follow the science to determine the NFL’s cannabis policy as the most encouraging to date. Referring to cannabis as a “performance-inspiring” drug, Jackson says that neither he nor anyone he’s known ever got high before a game or a practice, it was just something they used in the down time to help them recover without side effects. The problem isn’t weed, it’s that large bodies are slamming into each other at very high speeds.
Despite the NFL’s attempts at PR, it’s still clear that it’s a business and that results are what owners and fans demand. They have shown many times a willingness to look the other way on safety if it means increased on-field production. At the very least, they could be consistent with that attitude and look the other way on weed.
In conclusion Jackson said, “Michael Phelps is the best swimmer that the Earth has ever produced by far. And he smokes weed. That should tell us something.”