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DEA Investigates NFL Doctors For Harmful Pills, Not Marijuana

nfl dea marijuana pills

(via wikipedia)

During Sunday night’s broadcast of the National Football League games a bombshell was dropped: the DEA is investigating doctors who provide professional football players with dangerous and restricted drugs during practice and before games.

The story was broken by Jay Glazer with Fox Sports. Glazer said airplanes had been held and doctors pulled from the flights with their baggage by agents of the national Drug Enforcement Agency. Glaser indicated this was the result of a class-action lawsuit filed by former NFL players who became addicted to pills during their tenure in the NFL.

From The Washington Post:

Federal drug agents conducted surprise inspections of National Football League team medical staffs on Sunday as part of an ongoing investigation into prescription drug abuse in the league. The inspections, which entailed bag searches and questioning of team doctors by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, were based on the suspicion that NFL teams dispense drugs illegally to keep players on the field in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, according to a senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.

CNN reports that staff members from the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were ‘visited’ by DEA agents. More teams are involved but a full listing of all investigations is not available at this time.

The push from federal drug agents to clean up the dangerous drugs in pro football comes just weeks after the NFL changed their marijuana tolerance policy to become less restrictive.

Negotiations between the NFL owners and the player’s union resulted in a higher amount of THC allowable in a player’s bloodstream before triggering sanction and penalty from the league. The old threshold: 15 nanograms per liter of blood. The league’s new standard: 35 nanograms.

What the means is, for members of clubs like the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, testing positive for 1 nanogram outside the stadium could land a player in jail but testing positive for 34 nanograms on game day means you’re just fine to suit up and crush the quarterback.

The NFL isn’t breaking new ground with their increased THC tolerance levels. Pro baseball has a 50 nanogram threshold, and the International Olympic Committee runs- or swims- with a 150 nanogram tolerance level.

That’s the indescribable irregularity with all these programs:  sport teams have a standard differing from national or state drug laws. Considering that Indiana and Louisiana have no legal or medical marijuana laws, the team’s tolerance for pot consumption exceeds that of other businesses, government agencies and school systems in those states.

September Op-Ed in the New York Times authored by former NFL player Nate Jackson opened with these words:

Virtually every single player in the N.F.L. has a certifiable need for medical marijuana.

His definition of life inside an NFL locker room may provide the answers to why pills and not pot is so popular with NFL health care workers:

In my playing days, the marijuana smokers struck me as sharper, more thoughtful and more likely to challenge authority than the nonsmokers. It makes me wonder if we weren’t that way because marijuana allowed us to avoid the heavy daze of pain pills. It gave us clarity. It kept us sane.

Jackson had no such admiration for the pill-popping lifestyle fostered by the NFL’s current permissive attitude. He said, “These are the same pills I was handed in full bottles after an injury. The same pills that are ravaging our cities. The same ones that are creating a population of apathetic adults… the same ones that are leading high schoolers to heroin… Yeah, those.”

Perhaps that’s what the DEA is really searching for, control of an industry (pro football) that seems to obtain and distribute dangerous narcotic drugs without the usual system of checks and balances. One thing’s for sure: the DEA didn’t pull doctors off those airplanes to search their luggage for pot.

Source: TheCompassionChronicles.Com


About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.


  1. Epidemic? It is caused by Prohibition. The answer is fewer restrictions not more. Who taught you that Prohibition works? You were misinformed.

  2. And what usually happens is that the people who need the opioids can no longer get them. Prohibition solves nothing. And ENFORCERS don’t do medicine. This is a medical problem. Let medical people solve it.

    Hasn’t cannabis prohibition taught you anything?

  3. The DEA needs to be reduced to zero. I wonder if the “small government” party will eliminate government waste and zero them out? Fat chance eh?

  4. 11/17/2014, DEA seizes Tampa pharmacy’s drugs, gets sued

    “The basis for DEA’s action was not that the pharmacy posed some imminent harm or threat to the public,” court filings state. “No, the DEA’s justification was that a membership interest in the pharmacy was transferred some 19 months before without its approval.

    The filing says the pharmacy at 12617 Race Track Road and its patients are being harmed by the DEA’s actions. It says the pharmacy provides medications that are not commercially available and are specific to patients’ needs.


  5. The DEA is just one big bully. What will happen now to all the football players who are using prescription drugs to treat pain? Don’t all football players suffer from constant pain somewhere on their train-wrecked bodies?

    What will happen to the pain patients in the NFL is the same thing that happened to the pain patients in Florida when the DEA shut down most of the pill mills, jailing and threatening doctors — patients in pain have nowhere to turn. Some football players will be switched to lower strength drugs like codeine or Tramadol, which are Schedule IV. Some football players will turn to cannabis if they can find it. And some football players will turn to the streets. Because… you can only ignore pain for so long.

    Instead of the DEA bullying doctors and patients, the NFL’s pain management program should have been over-hauled, just like the VA is doing. (Unfortunately, the VA is doing it with funding from the NIDA and it’s only for alternative treatments, like no drugs, bummer.) Because criminalizing the use of drugs is NEVER the answer.

  6. I am so on-board with this. America needs to wake up, and what better way to address the oxycontin/heroin epidemic in mainstream America than using the NFL – America’s sweethearts. So many people were reached with this NFL story. This does wonders to educate the masses about the insidious and flagrant use of the opiods, and who exactly are pushing the drugs, and why. Money, money, money.

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