Any time the topic of marijuana pops up in sports there tends to be a divide in the discussion. There are those who want to keep it out of the sports they follow without question, while there are those who suggest it’s no big deal and the sports leagues should just allow their players to use it. One of the reasons there tends to be such a divisive tone to the discussion may be because there is a lack of understanding of the drug or how it is used that might lead to side effects of addiction.
In a post for The Players’ Tribune, Jay Williams attempts to shed some light on the benefits of marijuana to the professional athlete in an attempt to inform from his personal experience and point of view.
“Our culture is progressive about a lot of things, but in some corners, marijuana is still vilified and misunderstood,” Williams says. “I believe that marijuana, which many experts agree is less addictive and less prone to overdose than pain meds like OxyContin , must be an integral part of the conversation about how we treat pain in our everyday lives.”
Williams became addicted to pain killers as he recovered from a horrific motorcycle accident in 2003. Williams was given prescriptions for OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet and he soon became addicted. Fortunately, he says, he was able to break the addiction that so many have struggled to confront in their lives. When it comes ot treating pain, Williams suggests marijuana may be the less threatening way fo treating pain.
“Today, marijuana is punished with steep fines and suspensions in our sports leagues. But pain isn’t going anywhere,” Williams says. “Seeking to keep playing the sport they love, many athletes suffering from injury become dependent on the same types of doctor-prescribed painkillers I did in order to cope.”
You can see Williams’ video on the topic of the apparent double standard in the marijuana discussion below.