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Roger Goodell: Marijuana ‘addictive’ and ‘may not be healthy’

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell continues to move forward the evolving dialogue concerning the league’s stance on marijuana. While Goodell does say the league is open to researching the possibility of allowing players to use marijuana on a medical basis, he made it clear there’s a long way to go before such an eventuality.

Goodell made the NFL’s current stance on marijuana abundantly clear by pointing out it’s “addictive nature” and how it “may not be healthy for the players long-term.”

“I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use,” Goodell said during an appearance on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” radio program, via Pro Football Talk. “Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players? Listen, you’re ingesting smoke, so that’s not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term. All of those things have to be considered. And it’s not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game. We really want to help our players in that circumstance but I want to make sure that the negative consequences aren’t something that is something that we’ll be held accountable for some years down the road.”

Goodell added any examination of the NFL’s policies regarding marijuana will be strictly limited to medicinal use, not recreational.

“We look at it from a medical standpoint,” Goodell said. “So if people feel that it has a medical benefit, the medical advisers have to tell you that. We have joint advisers, we also have independent advisers, both the NFLPA and the NFL, and we’ll sit down and talk about that. But we’ve been studying that through our advisers. To date, they haven’t said this is a change we think you should make that’s in the best interests of the health and safety of our players. If they do, we’re certainly going to consider that. But to date, they haven’t really said that.”

The societal and legal views on marijuana use — medicinally and otherwise — continue to evolve in this country. But it’s evident from Goodell’s comments that the NFL will not simply adopt more liberal policies in light of those changes.