On Tuesday, MPP unveiled a series of billboards surrounding MetLife Stadium, site of the upcoming Super Bowl, that have been getting a lot of attention. These ads highlight the fact that marijuana is objectively safer than both alcohol and football, and call on the NFL to stop punishing players for using the safer option.
This is especially noteworthy this year, as the two teams playing in the Super Bowl are the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, both of whose home states made marijuana legal for adults in 2012.
On Wednesday, MPP’s Mason Tvert presented a Change.orgpetition calling on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to get rid of the policy of punishing players for using marijuana. The petition currently has more than 12,000 signatures.
Mercy: Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one’s power
Media outlets reported yesterday that the Minnesota Vikings are trading all-pro wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks. Based on Harvin’s history, it is almost as if fate is telling the NFL it is time to change one of its most unjust and irrational policies.
Perhaps. (Nevertheless, it is worth noting that both the Seahawks and the Denver Broncos have yet to lose a game at home since their respective states made marijuana legal.)
But we have to wonder why the NFL continues to prohibit marijuana use by players during the off-season, even in states that have made it legal, while simultaneously promoting alcohol use at every game. Moreover, the league continues to prohibit players in those states from using marijuana for medical purposes, despite its proven ability to ease chronic pain – a condition that affects many players.
Perhaps allowing professional athletes to make the choice to use marijuana instead of painkillers could make a difference in their performances. And so could allowing them to use marijuana instead of alcohol when they are relaxing or socializing with friends. Regardless, it is bad policy to continue punishing these athletes simply for making a safer choice.