Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday the NFL would consider allowing athletes to use marijuana to treat concussions and other head injuries if medical experts deemed it a legitimate solution.
Appearing with General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt to announce the first 16 winners of the $20 million “Head Health Challenge,” sponsored by GE and the league, Goodell didn’t sway from his recent statements on use of the drug by active players.
“I’m not a medical expert. We will obviously follow signs. We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that,” Goodell said. “Our medical experts are not saying that right now.”
Both Colorado and Washington — home states of the Super Bowl teams, the Seahawks and Broncos — are the only states where the drug is legal for recreational use. Twenty more, plus Washington D.C., allow for medicinal marijuana use. A report on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” Tuesday estimated that between 50%-60% of the league’s players regularly use the drug, many for pain management. The show also interviewed an Israeli doctor who showed how treating mice with head trauma with marijuana showed drastic improvement in their symptoms.
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