The NFL’s longstanding hostility to marijuana use among its personnel could soon be relaxed, as the league and the union representing players have agreed to study cannabis as a method of pain management.
As part of the agreement, the league and the NFL Players Association will participate in two committees designed to provide guidance on the matter; the study will also include an examination of the use of prescription drugs by players.
“I think it’s a proud day for the NFL and the NFLPA to come together on these issues in a very public way,” Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, told the Washington Post in an interview this week. “I think it demonstrates the spirit of cooperation we have around our health and safety issues. … Both of these committees are about providing the best health care we can to players.”
The NFL has long maintained a strict policy against marijuana, which is on the league’s list of banned substances. Players are regularly drug tested, and face suspensions and fines if they fail to comply with the policy.
At the same time, the league is facing widening scrutiny over the debilitating injuries suffered by players, many of whom