Nate Jackson, who played a short stint in the NFL on the Denver Broncos, thinks the NFL will soon have no choice but to update marijuana ban. NFL fans need not look further than last year, where the previous season’s leading wide receiver was kept from playing an entire regular season for multiple weed violations.

Nate Jackson claims that he used marijuana himself to avoid the culture of addiction that the NFL has with painkillers.  He says that it helped with both the physical and psychological pain that comes with playing football.

“It kept my brain clean,” Jackson said Wednesday, via the Associated Press, during the Cannabis Business Executives Breakfast. “I feel like I exited the game with my mind intact. And I credit that to marijuana in a lot of ways and not getting hooked on these pain pills that are recklessly distributed in the league when a guy gets an injury.”

Jackson goes on to say that he knows that most NFL players do the same, using pot to self-medicate, due to the less frequent testing of marijuana.

“[The NFL is] aware that probably over half of their players smoke weed,” he said. “They’ve been doing it since they were teenagers. The fact that they’ve been doing it that whole time and still made it to the NFL and are able to satisfy the demands of very, very strict employers on a daily basis means that their marijuana use is in check,” Jackson said. “Marijuana is not a problem in their lives.”

Players know that risks for addiction and their health from using opiates like Vicodin are all too prevalent in today’s society, and that marijuana is a safe, viable alternative, which often prove more effective at managing pain.  The game of football is punishing on the mind and body, and the benefits of a substance that helps manage this without any harmful side effects are huge for players.

Nate Jackson is one of many players who know that it is only a matter of when, not if, the NFL changes their tune and gets behind the decriminalization of marijuana.

“It’s a good public relations move for the NFL to do this because they have a lot of former players who are hurting, who have a lot of cognitive issues, who have orthopedic issues, who have psychological problems and it seems that marijuana helps with all of these things,” Jackson said. “So, the NFL has taken some PR hits in the last year over a few things, and I think they’ll be eager to get behind something like this.”

So far, the NFL has not shown any sway on acknowledging the necessity of medical marijuana in the NFL.  Commissioner Roger Goodell has been heard repeating the antiquated lines of how the verdict on marijuana’s benefits are still up for debate and that it can be addictive, despite the numerous studies debunking this myth.  It all comes down to when is the right time to join the popular culture train, which the NFL could miss if they’re simply waiting on the Federal Government to decide.