Pittsburgh Steelers' veteran, Ryan Clark has today revealed that he knows players in the NFL who use marijuana recreationally and states that they need the drug to manage pain.
Speaking on ESPN's First Take program, the defensive back said:
"I know guys on my team who smoke," Clark said. "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. 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.'
Although marijuana has recently been made legal in Colorado and Washington, the NFL holds a strict policy against it.
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell said during Super Bowl week that the league would not consider their stance on the drug. Players are tested for the drug but Clark believes these tests are useless:
"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."
In January, Redskins player Fred Davis was found to be in breach of the league's substance abuse policy and was banned for six games.
Clark had two interceptions in 16 starts for the Steelers this season, he has 15 interceptions during his 12 year NFL career. He was drafted in 2002 by the New York Giants and has also spent time with the Washington Redskins.