RUSH: So the commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell on Fox News — well, they reported it four days ago — said that NFL might be open to medical marijuana use for NFL players. Right now if you test positive for it, you’ve got a problem. You run afoul of the league’s substance abuse policy and you could be suspended, you could be warned, any number of things. But now in California and Colorado it’s legal. Colorado, is it legal for recreational purposes, too. Yeah, it’s just medical I think so far in California.
But see, here’s the thing. There’s a football team in Colorado, the Denver Mannings, and they’re playing the New England Bundchens Sunday in the playoff championship game. It’s a question that has popped up. Goodell was in New York, one of the pre-Super Bowl media — I guess a press conference of sorts. And he was asked about the possibility of allowing players to smoke marijuana for medicinal reasons in states where it’s legal. He didn’t rule it out. He said, “I donÂ’t know whatÂ’s going to develop as far as the next opportunity for medicine to evolve and to help either deal with pain or help deal with injuries. But we will continue to support the evolution of medicine.”
So what else are they gonna do? I mean, if it becomes legal — see, up to now everybody has believed that there are some deleterious mental effects. Not just when you’re high, but that they linger, they destroy ambition. I mean, I don’t know if any of this is proven. But some of the contentions about marijuana is it destroys ambition over a long period, promotes laziness. Of course, it enhances the appetite out the wazoo. And obviously it has some effects on the human brain.
Now, the NFL has all kinds of stringent substance abuse policies. But have you noticed that there is no substance abuse policy for opiates? And that’s because they’re taken for pain killing reasons during the season. And they’re looking for anything that could be a substitute to it. Now, one of the drugs that is a great painkiller, and it’s non-narcotic, it’s called Toradol. In fact, if you’re a sports fan and you hear about a pain killing injection taken by a player before a game to play, and you’ve wondered, “What is it? What is this pain killing injection? What are they taking?” It’s Toradol, more than not. Now, players will tell you it’s liquid Advil. They’re not shooting up liquid Advil. It’s Toradol. And Toradol is a great painkiller, non-narcotic.
However, you can only take it for five consecutive days. A responsible pharmacist will not give you any more, a doctor won’t prescribe any more because it really does a number on your liver, being metabolized. But these guys have been shooting up with this stuff for a long time, and some of them have not known of that aspect. This is a tough game. They’re looking for anything they can find that will kill pain, that’s not narcotic, that’s not a drug, substance abuse oriented, and marijuana, to some players, swear by it. As you know, there are people that swear by it, not just pain killing, but enhancing recovery and this kind of thing. So the league is gonna have to look into this, because it’s starting to become legal now for medicinal reasons.
You’re gonna have, my guess is, a lot of players in free agency are gonna want to end up playing for the Mannings in Denver, and you’re gonna have a lot of players who are gonna want to play for the Fort’iners or the Chargers, even the Raiders. Now, pot does have effects on the brain. Can the NFL guarantee that it doesn’t if they eventually legalize it? Can they guarantee that it does not have negative effects on the brain? And if they can’t, then why flirt with condoning it? I’m just asking here as a citizen and as — (interruption) Well, yeah, it’s legal, but so is alcohol and the league doesn’t allow you to take it before games. I mean, some teams on the road, the hotels are required to remove all liquor from the mini-bars. That’s right. It’s in the contract rider. I kid you not.
Do you know that — I think I’m right about this. I know I was at one time. I don’t know if it’s been relaxed or not. Beer is not permitted on charter flights in the National Football League, for the flight home or the flight to the game. I know I was right about that at one point. Now, this is not to say the guys don’t sneak the stuff aboard themselves, but it is not offered, it cannot be. It used to be. I mean, it was in the milk dispenser in the Raiders locker room. Now, if just one study exists that finds negative consequences of marijuana, will a plaintiff attorney sue the league in the future if they legalize it? You know how litigious this has become. All this concussion business. They’re just scared to death of this stuff in the league, and now they’ve gotta deal with this potential mass legalization of marijuana.
I think the only thing you can do is have players sign waivers acknowledging the risks in playing football and admitting that there are unknowns and indemnifying the teams. How would you test for marijuana? I mean, before the game, you know, test if you got a player high. All you do, open a bag of Cheetos and offer it to him. Watch the pregame meal. Just open a bag of Cheetos and pass it around. Take a look if somebody starts scarfing ’em, and you’ll know. I think it’s a fascinating thing.