Recently retired NFL defensive end Chris Long believes players should be able to use marijuana as a form of pain medication or stress relief.
The two-time Super Bowl champion, who played with the St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, admitted on “The Dan Patrick Show” Wednesday that he had smoked his “fair share” of marijuana as a player in order to deal with stress.
“I’m not a dry snitch, I’m not going to put a percentage on how much the league smokes, but I certainly enjoyed my fair share on a regular basis throughout my career,” he said. “So, you know, and I was never afraid to say that and I’m able to say it more explicitly now: if not for that, I’m not as capable of coping with the stressors of day-to-day NFL life.
“A lot of guys get a lot of pain management out of it. Toradol did more pain management for me.”
Long, 34, announced his retirement on Saturday after an 11-year career where he also emerged as one of the more outspoken players in the league on issues that extend beyond the field. The former No. 2 overall pick was vocal in his support of players kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice and Long was the winner of the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award after donating his 2017 salary to a different charity each week.
In Wednesday's interview, Long advocated for allowing players to smoke marijuana and criticized the way the NFL currently tests players for marijuana, calling the process “arbitrary.”
“The league, speaking plainly, knows damn well what they’re doing,” he said. “Testing players once a year for ‘street drugs,’ which is a terrible classification for marijuana, is kind of silly because, players know when the test is, we can stop, and in that month or two that you stop, you’re going to reach for the sleeping pills, you’re going to reach for the pain killers, you’re going to reach for the bottle a little bit more.
“…If you’re serious about players not smoking, you’d be testing more often. I hope they go the opposite direction and kind of realize how arbitrary doing that one test a year is.”