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Thread: Clark: NFL players going to use pot

  1. #11
    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Criticism of Ryan Clark misses the point


    PITTSBURGH -- The surest sign that Ryan Clark received a significant amount of blowback after he frankly discussed marijuana use in the NFL is that the Steelers safety took to social media to clarify what he had said.

    "I don't smoke marijuana. I won't smoke marijuana," Clark wrote Thursday afternoon on his Twitter account. "The NFL shouldn't push marijuana but I'd be a fool to say that people don't use it."

    Those who criticize the outspoken Clark are missing the message and hitting the messenger.

    That a significant number of players need some sort of medicine to get from Sunday to Sunday -- or Sunday to Thursday, an absurd turnaround between games in a league that is supposedly all about player safety -- is an inconvenient truth.

    The reality is we don't want to know what it takes for players to get through a season of countless collisions any more than we want to know what went into the making of the hot dogs and hamburgers that are sold at NFL stadiums.

    When Clark advocated that the NFL stop testing for marijuana because it was a waste of time and resources that predictably raised some hackles. What may have gotten lost is Clark's point that some players use marijuana to help them deal with pain because they view it as a safer alternative to prescription pain pills, which can be highly addictive.

    Those that scoff at this as rationalizing the use of an illegal (well, in most states) drug I ask this: Isn't it a tad hypocritical to cheer violent hits and encourage players to have little regard for their own bodies and then then tell them how they can or can't deal with the pain?

    Also, is the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes any worse than pain pills or does one simply carry the stigma of social taboo?

    Like Clark, I am not advocating the use of marijuana in the NFL, and I totally get that the line between medicinal and recreational use of the drug can be blurred and blatantly manipulated. But more research needs to be gathered on the issue, something commissioner Roger Goodell seems willing to do, if a little reluctantly.

    Frank discussion like what Clark engaged in Thursday is also necessary.

    That Clark felt the need to say, via Twitter, that he is not pothead shows how nuanced this issue truly is.

    It also illuminated how there needs to be much more understanding of it as players try to manage their pain so we can cheer them on Sundays.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/pittsburgh-s...sses-the-point

  2. #12
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    Mark Bunell said he knew players who used it and over the years they weren't the same player because of the drug.

    Thats bull IMO.. players decline over the years because its a high impact sport. These guys are medicating with all types of substances.... I doubt mj is the reason some of them fell off.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    Mark Bunell said he knew players who used it and over the years they weren't the same player because of the drug.

    Thats bull IMO.. players decline over the years because its a high impact sport. These guys are medicating with all types of substances.... I doubt mj is the reason some of them fell off.
    Brunell knew those players, worked alongside them, and observed them carefully. . .You have a right to your opinion, but I'll have to go with his take over yours.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradshawsHairdresser View Post
    Brunell knew those players, worked alongside them, and observed them carefully. . .You have a right to your opinion, but I'll have to go with his take over yours.
    Fair enough... but its not like Brunell has made the best decisions financially... wouldnt be surprised if his opinion is also a little bankrupt.

    "Weed ruins lives"

    Sorry... cant take him seriously when he says something that sensational

  5. #15
    After several years of taking hits on the field, Mark Brunell wasn't the same player either...that had nothing to do with cannabis....

  6. #16
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    "I know guys on my team who smoke," Clark said. "And it's not a situation where you think 'Oh, these are guys trying to be cool.' These are guys who want to do it recreationally. A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, 'If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.' Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it."
    That's great, but it is still an illegal substance and Ryan, people do get addicted to marijuana.
    These guys have access to the best doctors, best medical equipment and best healing modalities others don't have.
    They also make millions of dollars and it's against the NFL's policies.
    I've had 2 lowerback surgeries and have chronic pain everyday. When things get real bad i take Aleve.
    Smoking pot to relieve the pain or relieve stress is just a stupid reason and doesn't justify anything.
    I've climbed telephone poles for the last 25 years, what do you think my employer would do if i was tested for THC and i told them it was because it relieved my pain.
    Sorry, just don't agree with this while you're playing in the NFL. Wanna smoke when you retire, go ahead and light up all ya want

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    Fair enough... but its not like Brunell has made the best decisions financially... wouldnt be surprised if his opinion is also a little bankrupt.

    "Weed ruins lives"

    Sorry... cant take him seriously when he says something that sensational
    Weed can ruin lives. Depends highly on who is smoking the weed. Marijuana in about 10% of the population will flip the switch of addiction. With that said, it is no more dangerous than alcohol...I would argue less so. Doesn't make is safe...or smart...but it's not my place to judge those who use it. Adults should be able to make choices with their lives without government intervention.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    Mark Bunell said he knew players who used it and over the years they weren't the same player because of the drug.

    Thats bull IMO.. players decline over the years because its a high impact sport. These guys are medicating with all types of substances.... I doubt mj is the reason some of them fell off.
    Depends on the personality smoking it. There are those who smoke it on occasion who may not be effected by it substantially. There are others who will smoke it, then be consumed by the thoughts of smoking it. They will smoke it every chance they get. Their minds are not on working out, but getting high. That is the difference between an addicts mentality and those who can engage alcohol or marijuana recreationally. So stances by either the pro or anti crowd are usually short sighted. In those with addictive tendencies marijuana can indeed ruin lives and careers. It doesn't mean you big brother monitor it...and treat players like kids. But, you do need to be aware of it and not punish players who have the disease of addiction. Those players who can not handle their alcohol, marijuana or whatever are treated like criminals by the league. Its a punitive and not a therapeutic system. It's a major problem when you ask a diabetic not to eat cake...but you don't give them insulin. That is exactly what the NFL is currently doing.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
    Depends on the personality smoking it. There are those who smoke it on occasion who may not be effected by it substantially. There are others who will smoke it, then be consumed by the thoughts of smoking it. They will smoke it every chance they get. Their minds are not on working out, but getting high. That is the difference between an addicts mentality and those who can engage alcohol or marijuana recreationally. So stances by either the pro or anti crowd are usually short sighted. In those with addictive tendencies marijuana can indeed ruin lives and careers. It doesn't mean you big brother monitor it...and treat players like kids. But, you do need to be aware of it and not punish players who have the disease of addiction. Those players who can not handle their alcohol, marijuana or whatever are treated like criminals by the league. Its a punitive and not a therapeutic system. It's a major problem when you ask a diabetic not to eat cake...but you don't give them insulin. That is exactly what the NFL is currently doing.
    I believe the addictive tendency is more so to blame than the drug.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    I believe the addictive tendency is more so to blame than the drug.
    We could go round and round on this one; these addiction issues are not simple--I'm sure there are several factors involved.

    What I have observed, in my circle of acquaintances, is that a significant portion--not all, but not small--of those who use marijuana regularly develop what I would call an "addiction." Of those who are "addicted," there's a range of outcomes, from some who can manage their lives fairly well, to others who become total wastes.

    By way of contrast, of my acquaintances who don't use regularly (no more than occasional recreational use), a much smaller percentage seem to develop an "addiction."

    My understanding was that Clark was referring to players who were regularly using pot for pain-relief and stress-management. IMO, they have a greater risk of developing an "addiction" than players who might use it only infrequently.

    Of course, the only sure-fire way you know you won't get addicted to it is to never get started using it in the first place.

    Like PittPete, I find it hard to believe that weed is the best available option for pain management for these players.

    I probably won't convince anybody of any of this, just stating my opinion.

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