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Marijuana Talk And The NHL

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

As of July 1, marijuana use will be legal in Canada.

Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing substance and therefore it’s not on the National Hockey League’s banned substances list. So, theoretically, there could be an argument made to allow for its use for medicinal purposes in the league.

Chat amongst yourselves.

To be clear, at the moment, marijuana is among the variety of drugs the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association test for under the umbrella of the joint Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health Program, so legalizing its use in Canada doesn't mean it will automatically be dropped from that list.

a bit more and other topics...

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


The Meal's avatar

I have no issue with any professional athlete in a full-contact sport medicating with MJ.  The only issue I can see from the League’s point of view is the optics.  The NBA has an optics issue (with certain sports fans) stemming in part from its drug culture in decades past.  I think that’s outdated thinking for the majority of fans on either side of the border, but some part of that minority may be turned off to the point where it affects valuation.

Still that’s a perception issue.  To me the clear reality is stop testing for it in the professional athletes.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 11/03/17 at 02:23 PM ET


@The Meal—I agree.  If they stop testing for it and stop making it an issue altogether I would be fine with it.  However, If the players start snapping Instagram photos of themselves smoking blunts I would definitely have a problem with it.  Why?  Because my kids look up to these guys and so do their friends.  As a parent it would be very difficult for me to try and explain to them that drugs (legal or illegal it is still a drug) are still bad even if Crosby (probably the worst choice) is doing them etc.


Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 11/03/17 at 02:50 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Maybe the game would slow down a bit—eliminating so many concussion-generating hits—if they let the players spark up before and during the game.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/03/17 at 04:12 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I just…..ugh…..

GTL, you make a great point about role models.  I don’t have kids, but I am a big part of a little dude’s life right now and I’m trying to make sure he’s being raised as good as possible.  When he’s easily impressionable I’d like to keep this sort of stuff away from him.

Posted by TreKronor on 11/03/17 at 04:17 PM ET


None of you have a problem with players drinking beer in the locker room or guzzling champagne when they win the Stanley Cup.  Hypocrites.

Posted by jb61973 on 11/03/17 at 04:47 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

The Red Wings are playing as if they are on the leading edge of this societal change….

Posted by w2j2 on 11/03/17 at 05:43 PM ET

Chet's avatar

i just don’t see mcdavid on instagram waving a joint around.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/03/17 at 06:53 PM ET

Chet's avatar

evander kane, maybe.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/03/17 at 06:53 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Cannabis has proven to be very effective medicine for a variety of ailments. It is especially useful for pain management and helps people from becoming addicted to opiates. Opiate use is down considerably in states that allow medical use for chronic pain. Within years, prescriptions are down 43% in these states. 75% of heroin users started with prescription opiates.

Cannabis is already being used for pain management by NHLers and should be embraced.
In regard to children, it’s the same as other medications or alcohol. Be responsible, explain to kids that it’s only for adults/people to whom it’s subscribed. I know the stereotypical jokes can be entertaining, but they’re becoming less and less relevant as people see what cannabis can do. There are many high functioning cannabis consumers (including myself), and while some strains or products may induce laziness or hunger, there are just as many that boost energy and focus.  In addition to the incredible number of ailments it’s helping, regulated industries are giving states huge boosts in tax revenue along with thousands of jobs. Teen use is even down in Colorado. This product is used everywhere, better for it to be safe, regulated, and taxed and for people to be able to make educated decisions about what cannabis products they use as opposed to getting whatever ‘the guy down the street’ has at his apartment.

I personally know people who have been on the path to opiate addiction, and cannabis saved their lives. I know mothers of children with seizure disorders who hadn’t spoken in years until cannabis treatment. The incredible stories go on and on.

I’m obviously very passionate about this topic, so feel free to ask any questions. I am a board member of Marijuana Policy Project and also operate business strategy firm Green Lion Partners.

Posted by NHLJeff from Denver on 11/03/17 at 07:13 PM ET

awould's avatar

There is zero reason marijuana should be illegal, much less banned in professional sports, unless your argument is to ban anything that may alter a person’s consciousness or impact their behavior (good luck). Any reason offered applies as much or more to alcohol, which is much worse for health and society in almost every metric studied. I personally enjoy both, in moderation, and feel every adult should be able to without worrying about being incarcerated, losing their job or being suspended for 10 games. For people concerned about Crosby on Instagram smoking a joint, I’d be more ok with that than when Patrick Kane was getting wasted and doing dumb shit all the time and winding up in the news. There is no real difference.

Posted by awould on 11/03/17 at 09:09 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 11/03/17 at 07:13 PM ET

Thank you for this great comment. I’m no pharmacist, I do not use cannabis, but, I do agree it should be legal. Medically and recreationally.
When was the last time a Doctor wrote out a prescription for a bottle of liquor to stop pain, anxiety, nausea, or seizures?

It’s time to bring it into the mainstream. I want the option to be able to access it if I ever choose to do so.

As Homer Simpson once said,“Yes I cannabis!” wink

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 11/03/17 at 09:18 PM ET


I have no problem with players who use pot in moderation. I do not like the idea of players smoking it excessively or way too close towards the game.

Posted by tutoka from Leelanau Peninsula on 11/03/17 at 11:17 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Tutoka, glad you agree. I want to mention though, “excessively” is relative for each patient/player as is “too close to the game.” Everyone’s body reacts differently to cannabis, and what is excessive or too close to a game for one may not be for others. While being open about cannabis use is great, it’s important not to judge someone on what forms or level of treatment work best for them.

Posted by NHLJeff from Denver on 11/04/17 at 11:50 AM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Keep in mind that consumption doesn’t necessarily involve smoking or getting high. There are a variety of consumption methods and there are many products that don’t contain much or any THC, which is what gets the user high. It’s important to note that THC is necessary to treat many ailments, but just note not all users are necessarily getting high. And in addition to smoking, there’s vaporizing, edibles, topicals, tinctures, transdermal patches, and suppositories, among others.

Posted by NHLJeff from Denver on 11/04/17 at 11:57 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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