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Antonio Cromartie Speaks Out on NFL's Marijuana Policy

USA Today
Mike ChiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2017

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie has never been one to mince words, and he furthered his straight-shooting reputation in a recent interview by expressing his dismay with the NFL's drug-testing policy regarding marijuana.    

According to Dom Cosentino of NJ.com, Cromartie revealed in an interview with Ashlee Ray of This is 50 on Jan. 31 that he disagreed with the NFL's ban on marijuana. The interview can be seen in this video courtesy of This is 50 on YouTube:

In the interview, Cromartie suggested that the NFL should stop testing for the currently banned substance:

They need to just let it go. We're just going to do it anyway. They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, 'Ya'll go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.'

Cromartie later elaborated on his comments on his Twitter account:

Cromartie's opinion is controversial to say the least, but it is certainly relevant. There has recently been discussion to allow medicinal marijuana usage to treat concussions in the NFL, although Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't anticipate that change being made in the near future. He spoke about the issue, per Jane McManus of ESPNNewYork.com:

We'll continue to follow the medicine. Our experts right now are not indicating that we should change our policy in any way. We are not actively considering that at this point in time. But if it goes down the road sometime, that's something that we would never take off the table.

Among those in support of exploring the possibility of utilizing medical marijuana is Seattle Seahawks head coach and new Super Bowl champion Pete Carroll, according to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk:

We have to continue to explore and compete to find ways that are going to make our game a better game and take care of our players in the best way possible. The fact that it's in the world of medicine is obviously something the commissioner realizes and him making the expression that we need to follow the information and the research absolutely I'm in support of. Regardless of what other stigmas may be involved, I think we have to do this because the world of medicine is trying to do the exact same thing and figure it out and they're coming to some conclusions.

Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber chimed in as well by suggesting that marijuana could potentially be a good alternative to what players currently use for pain relief:

Some might question Cromartie's motivations when it comes to pushing for the use of marijuana in the NFL, but he is a three-time Pro Bowler, so people are going to listen when he talks.

With multiple states choosing to legalize marijuana, use of the drug in the United States is more mainstream now than it ever has been before. The fact that Cromartie is willing to be open about it means that he feels quite strongly that it won't adversely affect the NFL.

If more players speak out like Cromartie moving forward, then Goodell may have no choice but to take their opinions under consideration.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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