The recently retired Philadelphia Eagles player, 11-year NFL veteran and two-time Super Bowl champion made an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show this week to discuss his consumption of the drug, which he says he uses for pain management and stress.
“I certainly enjoyed my fair share on a regular basis through my career,” Long said during his appearance on the show. “If not for that, I’m not as capable of coping with the stresses of… the NFL life.”
Long pointed out what he sees as the hypocrisy of players using alcohol, the consumption of which is permitted by the NFL when players are off the clock, versus the ban on cannabis use.
“We should be headed to a place where we allow players to enjoy what I would not even call a drug,” Long said. “You know, it’s far less dangerous than guzzling a fifth of alcohol and going out after a game. Chances are the player won’t even make it to the club (laughs) to do this sort of thing that we all kind of wag our finger at when we hear about a guy getting in a fight or a DUI. You’re never going to read about him sitting on the couch and binge-watching ‘Game of Thrones’ again.”
Long claims that cannabis is rampant in the league, and his view is that the NFL doesn’t so much care about cannabis consumption as the appearance of propriety.
“I’ve heard many NFL executives and coaches not give a damn about whether or not their players smoke weed,” said Long. “They just care if a guy is dumb enough to get caught, because players know the test is coming. Believe it or not, the testing period (incredibly!) begins on Apr. 20 and continues through Aug. 9. That’s when players are tested for what the league calls ‘substances of abuse’ and marijuana is included in that.”
The NFL has made recent inroads with regard to cannabis research. A new collective bargaining agreement could mean the end of the league’s prohibition of medical cannabis, possibly by the start of the 2021 season.