More NFL Players Weigh in on Pot Issue

Steelers veteran safety Ryan Clark: "A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication."

Marijuana in the NFL has become a hot topic. Just this week, veterans Ryan Clark and Antonio Cromartie cited cannabis' medical benefits as an alternative to opiate-based pain meds.

Ryan Clark, Steelers free safety, 12-year pro out of LSU, has played for the Giants, Redskins and Steelers: "I know guys on my team who smoke. And it's not a situation where you think, 'Oh, these are guys trying to be cool.' These are guys who want to do it recreationally. A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, 'If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.' Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it. The testing isn't stringent. There is one random test during OTAs and minicamps during the offseason, and everybody will be tested early in training camp. After that, there are no more tests. So guys understand the ways to get around failing a drug test."

Antonio Cromartie, Jets cornerback, eight-year pro out of FSU, has played for the Chargers and Jets: "They need to just let it go. We're just going to do it anyway. They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, 'Y'all go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.'"

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.