Time for the NFL to embrace marijuana?

The nation is beginning to embrace weed. Whether we ourselves indulge or not — for what it's worth, I do not — more of us are beginning to understand that a lot of people do it, it arguably isn't as harmful as alcohol and we're better off regulating it for financial and health purposes. 

At the beginning of this calendar year, the two states that harbor the two teams that played in Super Bowl XLVIII legalized pot. 

Last month, President Barack Obama made a strong statement merely by saying that marijuana is no more dangerous than booze. And when that happened, nobody on either side of America's political fence made a stink. Momentum is there. 

However, it is still illegal (medicinal purposes notwithstanding) in 48 other states and it's still banned by the National Football League, regardless of where you play. 

Should that change? Maybe, but don't expect that to happen until the drug has become legal in more states, if not federally. 

"We're just going to do it anyway," Antonio Cromartie recently told Thisis50.com, according to ESPN. "They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, 'Ya'll go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.'" 

It should be noted that Cromartie disputes his use of the word "we're" and says he himself doesn't smoke. Nobody in the NFL would be crazy enough to admit to that at this stage in the game. When I talked to Walter Thurmond of the Seahawks last week, he told me he'd quit for good after a 2013 suspension for a positive pot test. 

But we could reach a day in which the NFL begins to look the other way on a mainstream drug that does nothing to enhance performance. In fact, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell even stated recently that the league could eventually consider adopting a medicinal marijuana policy

It won't happen overnight, but if the NFL wants to remain in step with the rest of the country, it too should begin to keep an open mind about marijuana. 

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at CBSSports.com, Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.