Former NFL Athlete Estimates 20 Percent Of Players Use Marijuana

One athlete labeled cannabis as a "Godsend".

NFL Athlete
Photo by Ethan Miller/Staff/Getty Images

Former players have come out in favor of cannabis, one athlete labeling it a “Godsend” as medicine. Currently the NFL prohibits usage of cannabis of its players in any form. With the amount of cannabis-related suspensions we’ve seen recently, the NFL appears determined to enforce the issue.


But it appears that isn’t the case. The Associated Press ran a story on former Oakland Raider Frank Hawkins and his evolution from football player into the cannabis industry this week. In it, he told the AP he “estimated 20 percent of current players — some of whom have come into his shop — are using some form of marijuana to relieve pain and inflammation.”

That figure is astounding. While you may debate the statistic, it’s been a poorly-kept secret around the league that more NFL athletes use marijuana than those who get caught. Hawkins just confirmed the notion. It should be noted, though, he believes marijuana can help players to manage their pain, as the NFL remains embroiled in an opioid crisis.


Frank Hawkins has some notable achievements to his name. As a member of the Oakland Raiders, he won the Super Bowl blocking for Marcus Allen back in 1983 against the Washington Redskins. Following his playing career he was elected to the Las Vegas City Council, becoming the first black city official in the city.

Later Hawkins would open the first medical marijuana dispensary in his hometown of Las Vegas. With Nevada residents voting to legalize recreational marijuana, Hawkins’ store has evolved to serve more than medical patients and, according to the AP report, business has been good.


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