On 17th October Canada is set to legalize recreational marijuana which will see changes across the country. It will however see no change in the National Hockey League (NHL).
The NHL has no plans to change their current policies, which is one of the most lenient in any major North American League.
“The Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health Program for decades has been educating players on using drugs, legal or illegal,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “That process will continue and we will consider what changes, if any, in our program have to be made. But right now, we think based on the educational level and what we do test for and how we test, at least for the time being, we’re comfortable with where we are.”
More than two dozen U.S. states allow marijuana use for a variety of ailments, but the federal government has not approved it for any medical use. Some players have already done research into the benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) oils. There’s a curiosity about whether marijuana could one day replace or limit painkillers like oxycodone, even if players aren’t yet ready to make that leap
“There’s not a lot of science out there yet in terms of long-term effects,” said Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele, who is still on the fence about cannabis use for medical reasons. “I think it’s something that still needs to be thought really clearly about in terms of understanding the long-term effects.”
Of course many players want the league to embrace a more open approach to marijuana and encourage players to use the drug as a way to deal with injuries sustained while playing. But that may be impossible as long as the United States federal government continues to keep the drug illegal.
Source USA Today
Image – Pixabay