NFL player Trent Williams of the Washington Redskins received a four-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana use.
For a league that has a history of prescription painkiller abuse and constantly asks its members to play through chronic pain, medical marijuana would seem like an ideal fit. But this is the NFL we are talking about.
Although the NFL is finally taking a softer tone on marijuana, players can still receive mandatory suspensions if they are caught using it. More and more current and former players are calling for marijuana to be excluded from the league’s list of banned substances.
The newest casualty of the NFL’s marijuana policy is Trent Williams, tackle for the Washington Redskins. Williams tested positive for marijuana use for the second time last year. This resulted in a four-game suspension. Williams says he uses marijuana to manage his pain and preferred it over prescription painkillers that he says upsets his stomach.
“A lot of times, it’s just for that simple reason in itself,” Williams said according to NBC Sports. “Getting a concussion, dealing with headaches, whatever. Not saying that it was right, obviously I shouldn’t have done it and obviously should’ve chose a different method. But at that time, you’re caught up in the midst of the season and all you want to do is be available. It wasn’t the right decision, but if you’re looking for a reason, it’s just to try and feel better for the next week.”
If Williams tests positive again for marijuana he may face a 10-game suspension. This is about two-thirds of an NFL season.