Clark: Multiple Steelers smoke weed to relieve stress, pain
Multiple Steelers players smoke marijuana to alleviate pain and cope with stress, partly because it is easy to circumvent the NFL's drug testing program, safety Ryan Clark said.
“I know guys on my team who smoke,” Clark said Thursday on ESPN. “And it's not a situation where you think, ‘Oh, these are guys trying to be cool.' These are guys who want to do it recreationally. A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication.”
Clark did not identify the players.
“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,' ” Clark said. “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.”
Clark also agrees with New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who said the league is fighting a losing battle in controlling marijuana because the drug tests are predictable and aren't strict.
“The testing isn't stringent,” said Clark, who later wrote on his Twitter page that he does not use marijuana or condone its use. “There is one random test during OTAs and minicamps during the offseason, and everybody will be tested early in training camp. After that, there are no more tests. So guys understand the ways to get around failing a drug test.”
The Steelers said they support the league's drug-testing policy and would have no further reaction to Clark's comments.
Marijuana usage in the NFL was a much-discussed topic at the Super Bowl in New York because both participants came from states that have legalized marijuana for casual usage: Washington and Colorado.
Regardless, Seahawks and Broncos players are not permitted under the NFL's drug policy to use marijuana. Commissioner Roger Goodell reinforced that during a news conference Jan. 31, although he said the league is interested in determining whether medical marijuana for treating head injuries, for example, would be beneficial.
“We'll continue to follow the medicine,” Goodell said.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also said the league should weigh whether medical marijuana, which is legal in 20 states, would help ease players through injuries.
Clark, who is expected to become an NFL TV analyst after he is done playing, appears several times a year on ESPN to discuss the league. The 12-year veteran is not expected to re-sign with the Steelers and would become a free agent next month.
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers defense takes aim at Ravens QB Flacco
- Steelers notebook: Ravens enter short-handed at tight end
- ‘Big play’ moniker fits veteran Steelers cornerback Gay
- Veteran LB Harrison: Steelers must play to way defense is set up
- Steelers notebook: Fully healthy, rookie WR Bryant progressing fast
- Steelers’ prime-time games shrink attendance at Heinz Field
- Steelers film session: Accuracy propels Roethlisberger vs. Colts
- QB Roethlisberger, Steelers roll past Colts in record-setting game
- Game changers: Roethlisberger’s ‘backyard’ play, Luck’s trip make impact in Steelers’ win over Colts
- Steelers offense puts up gaudy numbers in season’s 1st half
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger, offense must adjust with CB Smith out