50 percent of NFL players smoke marijuana, according to former NFL lineman Lomas Brown. Brown spoke out to the Detroit News on Friday in response to the arrests of three different Detroit Lions NFL players in the off season.
Brown explained that marijuana use was much more prevalent when he played in the 1980s. He estimates that at that point, almost 90% of players used marijuana.
He told reporters, “I just don’t think you’ll be able to curb this.” He believes the issue of using marijuana is widespread in the NFL and that players don’t have much incentive to stop.
The NCAA reports that in 2009, approximately 25% of football players admitted to using marijuana in the past year. However, ESPN has reported that approximately 70% of draft prospects at the combine admitted to using marijuana. There is a broad gap between reported usage, which makes Brown’s claim that 50% of NFL players use marijuana seem entirely plausible.
The question that arises from all of this is, if marijuana use has been so prevalent in the NFL and with college level players for such a long time, what is the problem? Why do the governing bodies of these leagues continue to penalize players for use of marijuana if it’s not enhancing their performance or tarnishing the image of the league?
While Brown is speaking out in support of current players, his announcement is not surprising.