On June 18th, 1971, during a speech by President Nixon, the War on Drugs was officially waged and the term “War on Drugs” coined. President Nixon declared drugs “public enemy number one” and was determined to put a stop to the drug crisis. Half a million people died from drug overdoses between 2000 and 2015 with the majority of them coming from opioids.
I am a supporter of the War on Drugs. There is no doubt that the government’s efforts needed to be revitalized – that is where President Trump comes in! Last week, President Trump declared the current opioid crisis a “national emergency” and will ask Congress to adjust funding and to now properly fund the Public Health Emergency Fund. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is supportive of this declaration, but has doubts that President Trump will deliver, telling President Trump to “show me the money.” Other senators have gone out and commended President Trump on his decision to take the opioid crisis head-on. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said: “I would like to commend the President for his continued commitment. When he visited us in the Senate earlier this week, he discussed the national epidemic and his administration’s efforts to fight back. Along with my colleagues, I stand ready to work with him on future proposals to provide necessary tools to protect our communities from this scourge.”
Now that we have established that the War on Drugs will not die and has been revitalized, I would like to address an intriguing question. As I am sure you know, marijuana is illegal on the federal level. Even in the states that legalized it, technically someone that uses marijuana in the States can be arrested by federal agents. Should professional athletes self-medicate with marijuana after a game to relieve the pain? In short: I think not. My sentiment is backed by many established professionals including former assistant secretary of state at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Robert B. Charles “This is just another ruse by those who want to get high using an illegal drug; as the FDA and DEA have made clear, nobody “smokes” medicine, and there are 400 analgesics to choose from that do NOT make one high, they just relieve pain – how about living by common sense and rule of law?”
With my opinion and an anti-narcotic guru’s well-educated opinions now on the record, I am going to take a small dive into the other side of the argument. HERB released the first episode of their video series “Game Changers,” featuring football veterans Marvin Washington, Leonard Marshall, Eben Britton, and Grant Mattos. Throughout the video, the players discuss injuries sustained during their careers and the NFL’s stance on marijuana use.
“This video makes it apparent how much cannabis has helped these players manage pain and avoid the dangers associated with prescription painkillers,” said Matt Gray, CEO of HERB. “With the 2017 football season now underway, we thought it was important for people to know what these players sacrifice in order to entertain fans every week and hope that fans can empathize and ultimately become advocates for cannabis in the NFL.” If players are going to get NFL teams to move away from the use of synthetic pain drugs to treat injuries, I feel they need to band together and form an alliance with one another regarding the use of CBD,” said Leonard Marshall, former 12-year NFL defensive lineman. “The general public may think these players are just looking to get high, however, many of these players are just looking to get healthy, and that’s more than fair.”
It is hard to deny that player’s do benefit from marijuana use, but that does not give anyone a license, or even a reason, to break the law. The NFL not allowing marijuana to be used by their players is a good thing. A good role model, something that athletes are viewed as, should get LEGAL medication to ease the pain so that they do not break the law.