Despite his arrest for alleged marijuana possession, Dwayne Bowe did play in one of the biggest National Football Leagues games last night, after claiming he was 100% innocent. He was arrested a week ago after he was pulled over for speeding and a Missouri police officer claimed he smelled weed and searched his car. The officer found a container labeled Fire 0.6 and arrested Dwayne Bowe, who later posted bail.
After the arrest of Dwayne Bowe it might be time for the NFL to have to debate what many states are already debating: whether recreational marijuana use should be legal and what the ramifications will be for players who decide to use it. For instance, if Dwayne Bowe had been arrested in January in a state such as Colorado, the police officer would not have arrested him for possession of a controlled substance but simply written him a speeding ticket.
Should NFL players be allowed to smoke pot and what about Dwayne Bowe?
Questions about the legalization of marijuana abound, but many of the proponents of legalizing the drug, especially for sports players, argue marijuana has a medical purpose similar to painkillers, only without as much risk. Football is a rough sport, and many NFL players have injuries and pain that they must manage. Its not unusual for many players to take pain injections just to make it through a game.
Those who argue for the use of pot claim that it can be used simply as another treatment option for the pain, not necessarily as a means to get high. Some research from the American Sports Journal of Medicine also promotes the claim that at low doses, pot can decrease anxiety, fear, depression and tension among athletes.
Others argue the drug will do little to enhance a sportsman performance and could be a gateway drug to other more serious narcotics. While others claim that there is strong evidence that an athletes coordination, skill and concentration could be lowered up to thirty six hours after using the drug- not to mention lower lung capacity and its addictive qualities. So maybe while a little pot might help alleviate pain; too much would lower performance. And unfortunately, the line between the two is not always clear-cut.
Is pot use more readily accepted?
Its interesting to note that now more than ever, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Acceptance in the sports community has also increased, although its use is still screened. For instance, last year an American judo athlete was disqualified for testing positive after eating baked good containing marijuana.
As states legalize marijuana its assumed that more people will use the drug. With this in mind, its going to be important for all employers to have a detailed and cohesive business rules for determining whether an employee can effectively perform their job if they have consumed or used marijuana, and this includes players who play football for the NFL like Dwayne Bowe.