PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark is making headlines after coming out and saying NFL players are using marijuana, including some of his teammates.
Clark made the announcement on ESPN’s “First Take” Thursday morning.
In the interview, Clark said he knows guys on the Steelers who “smoke.”
He told ESPN, “A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, ‘If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.’ Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it.”
But those who disagree with the legalization of marijuana believe that is just an excuse to use it recreationally.
That this would just give a green light to everyone to use it, anytime or anywhere
Clark says the NFL is fighting a losing battle, and some of it is goes back to their testing, which is rather lax.
“There’s one random test during OTAs and mini-camps in the off-season and everybody will be tested early in training camp,” Clark told ESPN. “After that, there’s no more tests, so guys understand the ways to get around failing the drug test.”
Clark expressed some of his views on via his Twitter account.
I don’t smoke marijuana. I won’t smoke marijuana. The NFL shouldn’t push marijuana but I’d be a fool to say that people don’t use it.
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) February 6, 2014
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he will wait until medical research proves to him that marijuana benefits will outweigh the risks.
When asked to comment on the situation, the Steelers released the following statement to here at 93.7 The FAN: “We support the NFL’s drug-testing policy and will have no further reaction to Ryan’s comments.”
93.7 The Fan’s Starkey and Mueller weighed in on the topic today as they discussed Clark’s future with the Steelers after his latest comments and whether or not there was any truth to what he said.
Kevin Elko, a sports psychologist, joined Bill Rehkopf on the KDKA Afternoon News to give his insight into medical marijuana and its place in sports.
“Marijuana now all of a sudden people are coming out and acting like, well, it’s not all that bad. Yes, you have to not have an opinion until you look at the studies done. There is a study out of New Zealand that says after you use it for a long period of time, your IQ goes down eight points. They are saying it’s involved with a number of things like memory loss,” Elko said.
Elko says he isn’t surprised by Clark’s comments because he finds his honesty and reality refreshing. However, while he disagrees with the perception that medical marijuana is not that big of a deal, he does agree with Clark’s views on drug testing in the NFL.
“If his comments are correct, they need a more effective system in making people accountable, and if that’s true go back and look at it again. If the players are seeing that, let’s get a better system because structure draws function.”
Elko continued to say that what he thinks Clark’s comments mean is that this system just doesn’t do it.
You can listen to the whole interview below: