Think it’s a coincidence that the two teams playing in Super Bowl XLIX (again) come from two states with marijuana-friendly laws on the books? Or that the game is being played in a state that also maintains marijuana-friendly laws? It’s not. What it should tell you is that marijuana is becoming normalized as different forms of marijuana legalization for medical and adult use sweep the nation. And that normalization is creating change for business and culture.
Just this week, Seattle medical marijuana producer, Solstice (an apparent Seahawks super fan), rolled 12,000 joints in a show of support for Seattle’s “12th man.” And though Marshawn Lynch may just be talking to the media so he “won’t get fined,” another Seahawks super fan created a marijuana strain called “Beast Mode 2.0,” which is getting rave reviews from users. Word is that the strain “hits you just like Marshawn — hard and fast.” The Inquistr also lays out unique marijuana recipes for your Super Bowl party, and we know every Seahawks fan is going to be singing the Phish-inspired team chant for Russell Wilson.
It isn’t just the wily marijuana marketing that shows us how far our nation’s dialogue about marijuana legalization and use has come. Former NFL players are turning Super Bowl XLIX into an opportunity to further the conversation about the NFL’s need to reform its marijuana policies. Just yesterday morning, three former NFL players (all former Super Bowl champs) took to Huffington Post’s Sports Blog to publish an eloquent piece about why the NFL shouldn’t punish players who use marijuana for medical purposes. The article makes a strong introduction to the issue by stating that,
The NFL is the preeminent sports league in the U.S. but it is woefully behind the curve when it comes to marijuana and players are suffering as a result. Many former and current NFL players use or have used marijuana to treat pain associated with injuries sustained on the field. There is a compelling body of research showing that marijuana can help treat pain and brain injuries.
The post then beseeches the NFL’s current commissioner, Roger Goodell, to make good on his promise to have the League consider allowing players to use medical marijuana without the threat of suspension. The article makes solid points on how the NFL should invest some of its millions of dollars into researching the medical efficacy of marijuana in the context of player health. It also calls for the NFL to abandon its antiquated marijuana policy altogether in light of the fact that 50 to 60 percent of players currently use marijuana mainly for pain relief, and it calls for the NFL to “take a leadership role in addressing racial disparities in marijuana law enforcement as well as other injustices caused by ineffective prohibitionist policies.” We agree on all counts.
So, whether you’re cheering today for the Pats or the Seahawks or just enjoying commercials, today is a good day for us to take note of the progress our country has been making with cannabis and its normalization.