During an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, retired NFL defensive end Chris Long admitted that he used marijuana during his tenure in the league. "I certainly enjoyed my fair share," he told Dan Patrick, "I'm able to say it more explicitly now that if not for [cannabis, I wasn't] 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."
Long wouldn't speak to how many of his fellow players used cannabis, but he did say, "We should be headed to a place where we allow players to enjoy what I would not even call a drug. It's far less dangerous than guzzling a fifth of alcohol and going out after a game."
The son of Hall-of-Famer Howie Long argued, "I think, from a standpoint of what's safer for people and the player--certainly people in the spotlight--it is far less harmful than alcohol. It is far less harmful than tobacco, and at various points in the league's history, they have engaged in partnerships on different levels with those respective industries."
Chris was well-regarded among players and fans alike completing stints with the Rams, Patriots, and Eagles over his 11-year career. He won two Super Bowls and was named the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year after donating his entire salary for the 2017 season to a different charity every week.
Long expressed his opinion to Patrick that the league should change its policies to allow players to use cannabis, "Testing players once a year for street drugs, which is a terrible classification for marijuana, is silly because players know when they are getting tested. In that month or two that you stop, you're going to reach for the sleeping pills. You're going to reach for the painkillers, and you're going to reach for the bottle a little bit more. If you're serious about players not using, you'd be testing more often. I hope they go the opposite direction and just kind of realize how arbitrary that one test is."
He joins a growing list of retired NFL players advocating for the use of cannabis in the league, not just recreationally but as a means to manage the hard hits and injuries associated with the grueling season.
Dubin, Jared. “Retired DE Chris Long Says He Used Marijuana during His Career, Thinks NFL Should Allow Its Use.” CBSSports.com, 22 May 2019, www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/retired-de-chris-long-says-he-used-marijuana-during-his-career-thinks-nfl-should-allow-its-use/.
Miles, Frank. “Chris Long Admits to Heavy Pot Use during NFL Career.” Fox News, FOX News Network, www.foxnews.com/sports/chris-long-admits-to-heavy-use-of-marijuana-during-nfl-playing-career.