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Report: NFL formally offers to study marijuana as pain management option with NFLPA

The NFL has shown a willingness to explore marijuana as a form of pain management, a step towards doing what's right for their players.

It’s been clear for some time that the NFLPA believes in the potential of marijuana as a therapeutic tool for players’ recovery. The NFL has been less open to the idea with commissioner Roger Goodell calling it “addictive” and “unhealthy” as recently as April.

However, the NFL appears ready to at least explore the possibility of marijuana use as a medical tool with the help of the NFL Players Association.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the NFL sent a letter to the NFLPA offering to work jointly to study the possibility of marijuana use as a pain management tool.

“We look forward to working with the Players Association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players,” said Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications.

The NFLPA has been looking into the feasibility of its use already, believing it could be a safer option than opiates to combat the physical pounding players take on a weekly basis. They have yet to respond to the NFL’s request for possible cooperation at this point.

Both Jerry and Stephen Jones of the Dallas Cowboys said they wanted the NFL to begin re-examining its stance on marijuana use earlier this year. That process now appears to be taking hold, at least in an exploratory fashion.

Ultimately, the decision on how to proceed as a league would be the result of a collective bargaining process with the players’ union. At least both sides appear open to exploring the feasibility of marijuana use and the idea of a change in policy on the topic moving forward.