As a former NFL player, Nate Jackson knows about pain and painkillers.
Jackson recently sat down with Andrea Kremer of HBO’s "Real Sports" to discuss marijuana use in the NFL. After the former Denver Broncos wide receiver rattled off a cringe-inducing inventory of injuries he suffered during his career, he explained that he preferred using marijuana to cope with in-season pain over other painkillers. Jackson played six seasons with the Broncos from 2003 to 2008
"Marijuana was something that helped me as the season wore on," Jackson, 34, said in the interview set to air on Tuesday. "My body would break down. I was in a lot of pain."
Just days before the NFL's Championship Sunday -- in which both AFC and NFC title games were played in states were recreational use of marijuana has been legalized-- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the possibility of players being permitted to use medical marijuana.
"I don't know what'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," Goodell said, per Jane McManus of ESPNNewYork.com.
In his memoir, "Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile," that was published in September 2013, Jackson also made his case for NFL players using marijuana to medicate.
The N.F.L. should remove marijuana from their banned substances list. Don’t tell anyone about it: just stop testing for it. Pain is a big problem in the N.F.L. Pain management is necessary. Weed is the least harmful and least addictive of the painkillers players use to cope with the violent demands of the game. Drug use in the NFL mirrors drug us outside of the NFL: Pills reign supreme. There are more overdoses in America from prescription painkillers than from cocaine and heroine combined. And no one ever overdoses from weed. The problem is pills and booze. A joint can alleviate the need for either and plant buttocks firmly on the couch, where a ‘MacGyver’ marathon takes on epic proportions. And no one gets hurt, except for the idiot who locked MacGyver in the bowels of a sinking ship.