The Super Bowl is fast approaching and America’s biggest unofficial holiday will bring together friends and families to watch the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons in what should be a very exciting NFL matchup. Your Super Bowl gathering is a great opportunity for the cannabis community to help educate your friends on the benefits of medical cannabis and the need for our nation to improve its drug policies in many ways. Thanks to Marijuana Majority, you may even convince some good folks to take a very simple action and tell the NFL to stop punishing players for marijuana.
The National Football League is obviously huge in the United States as it rakes in over $13 billion dollars a year and is right at the top of the TV ratings along with top shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Empire” and “Modern Family.” While Major League Baseball has traditionally been considered America’s “national pastime,” the football has surpassed baseball in popularity in the United States and the NFL’s television ratings dwarf those of other sports. More than $110 million people now watch the Super Bowl.
Despite its massive popularity, the NFL has experienced a bit of a decline lately. While there could be several reasons for a drop in viewers, one contributing factor could be the increased knowledge about the inherent dangers of the sport, particularly the prevalence of brain injuries. We have seen several NFL players retire early and more and more speak out about the benefits of medical cannabis and the need for sports leagues to change their marijuana policies.
Retired All-pro players Eugene Monroe, Kyle Turley and Ricky Williams have been outspoken about cannabis policy reform and Super Bowl winning quarterback, Jim McMahon recently discussed how medicinal marijuana helped him defeat his narcotic pain pill habit. The Gridiron Cannabis Coalition (GCC) was formed to help the “evolution of the natural healing elements of the cannabis plant” and advocate for players to be able to treat their injuries with cannabis. Partially thanks to the advocacy of these outspoken players, the NFL Players Association recently announced that they want to improve the league’s cannabis policy and Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that the issue is on the table.
These great football players have been joined by other athletes, such as former NBA All-Star and Sixth Man of the Year, Clifford Robinson (affectionately known as “Uncle Cliffy” to some and “Uncle Spliffy” to others), and NBA champion players and coaches, Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson in discussing the benefits of medical cannabis. NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton (Rip City, baby!) famously advocated for the legalization of cannabis during a recent TV broadcast and four-time NBA champion John Salley will be speaking at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco.
I love football as much as anyone, but it pains me to know that so many NFL players are experiencing traumatic brain injuries at an alarming clip and suffering through severe narcotic pain pill addiction, when studies show that medical cannabis can help . While they are compensated well, professional football players shouldn’t be modern-day gladiators that die vastly earlier than the rest of the population. Let’s get them they help they need.
A sincere thanks to Marijuana Majority for making it very easy to take action on this important issue. Not only can we help these great athletes, but sports are very influential in our culture and the NFL improving its cannabis policy will help continue the great momentum we are seeing all across our great nation.
While beer, hot wings, burgers, chips and other favorite Super Bowl libations and munchies are being enjoyed this Sunday, let’s take the opportunity to bring cannabis to the party and continue to normalize a safer alternative. And for the record, I predict New England to win 30 to 27, with the Golden Boy, Tom Brady, securing the MVP (as much as it’ll pain me to see him surpass my all-time favorite quarterback, Joe Montana, in Super Bowl victories). However, those rooting for Atlanta, take heart as I probably just jinxed the Patriots, as only rare teams of destiny can seem to overcome the huge obstacle of me rooting for them to win the championship. Have a great Super Bowl Sunday, everybody!