After previously saying he wanted to change the conversation around marijuana use in the NFL, recently retired defensive end Chris Long thinks part of the problem is how society perceives the drug.
Appearing on ESPN Radio's Golic and Wingo (h/t ESPN.com) on Tuesday, Long explained his views on and use of marijuana and how the conversation around it should be changed:
"Marijuana is a part of people's lives. It's not their life. And obviously then you have the minority, which is less than 10 percent of the responses I've seen, which are like, 'that stuff's the devil.' ... Hopefully the NFL will hear some of their players talk -- former or current, if you have the balls -- to say, 'something needs to change.'"
Long also explained how the NFL can help change views by altering its policy on the drug:
"We're dealing with a generational stigma so you're used to your fans being old guard people who bought into that stigma. I know some people struggle with it because marijuana, all the stereotypes are lazy, deviant people only smoke marijuana. ...
"I think at the end of the day, I would hope that they would consider lifting that kind of arbitrary ban. You've got one test a year, if you get tested more than that, it's because you failed the test."
These comments came after Long said Wednesday on The Dan Patrick Show that he smoked pot during his NFL career and that it's healthier and safer for players to use than alcohol or tobacco.