Steelers S Ryan Clark admits some of his teammates use marijuana

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Ryan Clark says that some his teammates smoke pot to medicate. (USATSI)
Ryan Clark says that some his teammates smoke pot to medicate. (USATSI)

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie thinks the NFL should let its players smoke marijuana and it sounds like Cromartie has an ally in Steelers safety Ryan Clark. During an interview with ESPN's First Take on Thursday, Clark said his teammates are smoking pot, but for the most part, they're only smoking it to soothe the pain of playing in the NFL.

"I know guys on my team who smoke," Clark said. "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."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the subject before the Super Bowl and he didn't sound like a man who had any plans of of allowing marijuana-use anytime soon.

"This has been something that has been asked several times and I'll try to be as clear as I possibly can: It is still an illegal substance on a national basis," Goodell said on Jan. 31. "It's something that's part of our collective bargaining agreement with our players. It's questionable with respect to the positive impact but there is certainly some very strong evidence to the negative impacts, including addiction and other issues."

Cromartie's stance is that players are going to do it, so just let them do it, ""They need to just let it go," Cromartie told Ashlee Ray of This Is 50 on Jan. 31. "[Players] just going to do it anyway. They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, 'Ya'll go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.'"

On Thursday, Clark pretty much agreed with Cromartie's stance.

"It's 100 percent true. They're fighting a losing battle. The testing isn't stringent," Clark said. "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."

Obviously not everyone understands how to get around failing a drug test or there wouldn't be any suspensions for marijuana-use.

As for Clark, he took a page out of Cromartie's playbook and took to Twitter to clarify that he doesn't smoke pot himself. Cromartie did the same thing on Wednesday.

If it turns out the use of marijuana has to be worked into the CBA, the players will have to wait awhile before marijuana-use will be allowed. The players and owners are only three seasons into the 10-year CBA that was agreed upon in 2011.

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