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May 22, 2019

Former Eagle Chris Long, now retired, says he regularly used marijuana during NFL career

Ex-defensive end makes admission as league begins to consider marijuana as a sanctioned treatment for players' pain

Chris Long, retired NFL player and crucially important part of the Eagles’ first-ever Super Bowl, appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday just days after announcing his retirement.

It’s clear that Long, who has often been an advocate for progressive policies in the league, as well as in the world around him, isn’t going to spend his retirement time being quiet.

MORE: NFL inching toward approving marijuana as pain treatment for players

Long and Patrick talked about recreational marijuana use, and the usage of marijuana league-wide. Long said he used his “fair share” of marijuana on a regular basis, and also offered up his point of view as someone who spent years across a number of locker rooms.

The whole segment is worth a watch:

Long’s public stance comes a day after the NFL’s chief medical officer, Allen Sills, told that the league’s pain management committee has been asked to bring the league suggestions, saying the NFL will “look at marijuana” for pain relief.

Long, who won the league's prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2018 for his humanitarian efforts, thinks it’s a no-brainer.

“I think, from a standpoint of what’s safer for the people and the player, and certainly people in the spotlight, it is far less harmful than alcohol,” Long said Wednesday. “It is far less harmful than tobacco. And at various points in the league’s history, they have engaged in partnerships with those respective industries.

“I think — I’m not a dry snitch, I’m not going to put a percentage on how much the league smokes, but I certainly enjoyed my fair share on a regular basis throughout my career. I was never afraid to say that, but I’m able to say it more explicitly now. Listen, if not for that, I’m not as capable of coping with the stressors of day-to-day NFL life. A lot of guys get a lot of pain management out of it.”

Marijuana has seen numerous studies in the past five years examine its efficacy in pain-relief. A 2016 research paper, for example, found that marijuana use for cancer pain led to a 64% reduction in opioid use, and led to participants using fewer medications, along with improving general quality of life.

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