Allow NFL Players to Use Cannabis

Target: Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner

Goal: Remove cannabis from list of banned substances under NFL player agreement.

The immense amount of physical damage done to a football player lasts with him throughout his entire life whether it is due to arthritis, damaged knees, or very commonly, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). A group of current and former National Football League (NFL) players are funding a study to determine the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on pain relief in hopes that the NFL commissioner will allow the use of this supplement for players, but the benefits of this compound are even more encompassing. In addition to reliving symptoms of pain and other ailments, cannabis could actually save football players’ lives.

According to a study by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and Boston University, 96 percent of former NFL players have CTE. This terrible condition, caused by repeated, violent hits to the head, causes symptoms of depression, memory loss, and dementia. Many also report signs of extreme anxiety, identity crises, and increasing suicidal thoughts. It is reported that 40 percent of former NFL players suffer from depression, which is three times more than the national average, and eight former players who committed suicide were found to have CTE.

While CTE is not as noticeable during a player’s tenure, their pain is very prominent. Some reportedly take a shot of Toradol before practice and are prescribed a slew of painkillers from Advil to opioids so that they can perform. NFL players are three times more likely than most to be addicted to prescription painkillers.

Many believe cannabis is a safer and more encompassing drug that can be used to stop pain because it is non-addictive and has few, if any, long-term negative effects. Additionally, the U.S. has a patent on CBD which says the compound has anti-oxidant qualities that help prevent neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. This compound can actually protect the brain from damage caused by trauma if used regularly. Reportedly, the NFL has spent $100 million on concussion research but none of it has been related to CBD. It is estimated that 50 to 60 percent of NFL players already use cannabis, but their reputations and careers are at stake if they get caught.

Former and current NFL players who teamed up to fund the study have partnered with Charlotte’s Web and a non-profit, Realm of Caring, under which they developed a campaign called “When the Bright Lights Fade,” which features former players speaking out about complications they incurred from playing football. In the video, they express fears for the future of their neurological health and how it will effect them, wondering if their years being knocked around were worth it. Sign this petition to stand with beloved football giants in their fight to allow cannabis use for all NFL players.


Dear Mr. Goodell,

I am writing to express my support for “When the Bright Lights Fade,” a campaign started by medical cannabis activists and several former NFL members who want to allow cannabis use for football players. Repeated, violent hits to the head cause pain as well as a tremendous amount of neurological issues for players later in life, and cannabis could be part of the answer to these issues.

Studies have already found that CBD, the non-addictive, non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, can protect the brain from dementia, and many people across America already use it legally to deal with pain. The painkiller epidemic kills people every day, and your players are three times more likely to abuse opioids than the general public. Allowing NFL players to use cannabis could literally increase performance while saving their lives, which is why I urge you to reconsider banning this substance.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Stuart Seeger

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  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    thats not fair!

  2. NOT signing this one! Unfair that professional football players, who earn millions, should have legal medical marijuana and MOST of the rest of us, cannot!

  3. Ellis Toscano says:

    No way these screwed up rich boys should get privileges.

  4. Virginia Greenwood-Warner says:

    Definitely can’t be serious! Maybe these players can live without their fat salaries and just chill at home and they won’t need any cannabis.

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