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Pittsburgh NORML Issues Statement On Martavis Bryant NFL Suspension

martavis bryant marijuana

(image via CBS Sports)

By now most of Steeler Nation has undoubtedly learned that the black & gold will be without the services of our “star in the making” Martavis Bryant for apparently skipping drug tests with the presumption being that he would fail. Mr. Bryant, as we will recall, missed the first four games of the 2015 season due to cannabis use which is prohibited by the NFL.  I have heard people call him a bad teammate, selfish, immature. I have heard “what a waste of talent” and “he could have been . . . ” I have also heard that Mr. Bryant is hardworking and humble, and in near constant pain from game days.

The NFL, like any employer, is free to set conditions of employment. If Mr. Bryant’s suspension is due to cannabis use the NFL is free to suspend him pursuant to the contract negotiated with the player’s union. Mr. Bryant is no different in this respect from the City sanitation worker, the fire-fighter or anyone else who takes a job knowing that clean urine screens are a condition of employment.

The NFL, however, is no ordinary employer. It makes millionaires out of young men. It demands they engage violent collisions on a weekly basis to entertain the legion of fans. We know that players suffer long term chronic and crippling pain for years. Chicago Bears Super Bowl winning QB Jim McMahon recently detailed his struggles with pain throughout his career and especially since retirement. Former Steelers CB Ryan Clark decried the practice of handing out prescription opioids in the training room with no consideration of the long term effects. Was Mr. Bryant opting for cannabis to treat pain instead of pharmaceuticals? I do not know and will not presume to speculate. I do know that our nation is in the midst of an opioid prescription drug abuse epidemic. One would think the NFL would be open to considering a non-toxic, natural treatment alternative for its most valued assets – its players.

Was Mr. Bryant selfish? Was he immature? Did he let his team and Steeler Nation down? Perhaps. But what he did he did to himself. He did not hurt anyone. He did not whip his child with a switch. He was not accused of raping a 19 year old in a bathroom stall. He was not charged with murder en route to the Hall of Fame. He did not knock his wife out cold in an elevator. He did not choke his girlfriend to unconsciousness before a baby shower. A significant percentage of the NFL market and a majority of its teams hail from states that have passed medical marijuana or full recreational marijuana. That the NFL continues to punish its players and, by extension, its fans over a simple plant is ridiculous.


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Johnny Green


  1. saynotohypocrisy on

    “What sane humane nation would promote alcohol and tobacco over Marijuana?”

    Indeed. It is massive insanity on a worldwide scale.
    And freeing the weed is the most important thing we can do to unleash the Age of Aquarius, the stakes couldn’t be any higher. Alcohol and tobacco and religious culture have had their chance to suppress cannabis culture, not just in the last 100 years, but in the era of witch burning before that, and it’s led to the predictable result, a shortage of cooperation and an oversupply of violence in the world.

  2. Since Our federal and state governments continue to ignore TRUTH about the PROVEN safety of Marijuana and EVEN HEMP farming and use, what MUST we conclude? For myself I have concluded that the leaders and politicians of our times are ALL corrupted by the McCarthyite tactics of a few powerful individuals who inflict their will on the masses of people who ARE the real power brokers of OUR country. What sane humane nation would promote alcohol and tobacco over Marijuana?
    The NFL management is representative of this tragic folley.
    The fact that alcohol and tobacco are perfectly legal to kill and maim people (which Marijuana in no way does) is only eclipsed by the epidemic of the pharmaceutical industry pretending, with the duplicitous FDA, that it is acceptable to addict patients to these very addictive and life destroying narcotics and benzodiazepines. I have first-hand experience of medically induced addiction to both types of drugs. My battle now is to use alternative medicine to repair years of this pharmacological and medical cartel corruption of truth, humanity and health CARE. Narcotics are being handed out to even the elderly who will likely die from the uncontrolled use of these drugs.
    Those in the cartel like to say it is the addicts that are the cause of this problem but that is a bold faced lie. It is the vast majority of the robot cartel doctors who are the real drug pushers in this case. They are criminals no better than those who sell hard drugs to children.
    The duplicitous FDA has a proven track record of pretending to monitor and approve the safety and safe use of these addicting drugs (which Marijuana is NOT). In fact, there is ample evidence that the FDA pretends to keep these addicting drugs under control while looking the other way while the majority of doctors continue to perpetuate this medical corruption and fraud.
    If Marijuana helps ease the pain of athletes but they are denied this wonder plant and instead are given out narcotics and benzodiazepines like candy WHAT MUST WE CONCLUDE?
    My United States of America is not the one I was taught about my entire life. My United States is a hive of bloated ineffective beaurocracies in which oligarchical promotions are given to the highest positions of management to perpetuate this travesty. In the best possible situation the cream of the crop would rise to these management positions but instead it is the scum that rises through the robotic vetting process in the extreme definition of oligarchical behavior.

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