We often hear that many athletes secretly use marijuana despite it being banned by professional sports leagues. But one NFL player says the number of cannabis users may be higher than you think.
Recently retired NFL tight end Martellus Bennett was asked on a recent podcast episode about how many players use marijuana in the league. Bennett, who played for 10 season in the NFL for five different teams, responded, "I want to say about 89 percent." When one host asked whether it's more shocking to find out a teammate doesn't smoke marijuana, Bennett jokingly replied, “You don’t smoke, bro?”
Fellow former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, one of the hosts of the podcast Bennett appeared on, agreed saying he believes the number's probably around 80 percent. Bennett said that using cannabis is basically a necessity in the league, particularly if you're hesitant to use prescription painkillers.
“There are times of the year where your body just hurts so bad,” Bennett said. “You don’t want to be popping pills all the time. There are anti-inflammatory drugs you take so long that they start to eat at your liver, kidneys and things like that. A human made that. God made weed.”
The NFL still keeps marijuana on its list of banned substances, although it has relaxed its rules in recent years. Players will only be suspended if they test positive for cannabis twice rather than once, as they were under the previous policy. And they're also tested once during April through August, and if they pass they won't be tested again until next year. So basically you just need to abstain during those months until you pass a test, then you're good to go.
The NFL Player's Association and the league are both currently researching how medical marijuana can help players deal with injuries and other conditions, so perhaps a change is on the horizon.
(h/t USA Today)