If the NFL has one major ongoing issue which will certainly be discussed between the league and the NFL Players Association when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is due, it would be the league’s stance on medicinal marijuana use.
Currently, it is illegal across the board, regardless of where you play. For instance, players for the Denver Broncos are not permitted to use marijuana for any reason, despite it being legalized in the state of Colorado.
A former linebacker, and legend, of the Pittsburgh Steelers is speaking out to get a medicinal marijuana farm in the state of Pennsylvania, and questioned the league’s stance on the drug at the same time.
Jack Ham, who won four Super Bowls with the Steelers in the 1970s, has teamed up with AGRiMED, a company vying for a license to grow medical marijuana in Greene County. Ham spoke with KDKA about the venture, as well as his thoughts on the NFL’s marijuana policy.
Just how did a former Steelers player get involved in medicinal marijuana?
“People I work with down there got me involved with AGRiMED, and it kind of just snowballed from there. We ended up putting a relationship together, and I’m really glad we did.”
AGRiMED is vying for one of 12 licenses that will be granted statewide to grow marijuana for medical use only, and Ham sees his role as educating people.
“Medical marijuana people are thinking about Woodstock, talking getting high, and that’s not the point,” said Ham.
That is all well and good, but what about the NFL and his thoughts on that?
“I think the injuries and the pain management that players go through doesn’t happen one or two years after you retire. It’s down the road.”
“I think the NFL has to take a look at this for ex-players, players like me, for opportunities to do something rather than opioids, rather than pain killers.”
Ham is now 68 years old, and recalls a foot injury just before a Super Bowl.
“I was taking all those prescription drugs because the pain with the food injury was really very difficult for me to deal with, and if I had other options out there…”
Ham didn’t have any other options at that time, and the current NFL players don’t have any other options currently, but maybe in the near future they will have an alternative to the highly addictive opioids currently being prescribed with regularity in the NFL.