Lomas Brown, now an ESPN analyst, claims at least 50 percent of NFL players likely smoke marijuana, according to a report in the Detroit News
"I just don't think you'll be able to curb this," Brown told the newspaper.
Wyche: Life after football
In light of the bounty saga, Junior Seau's suicide and mounting lawsuits, Steve Wyche explains why some fear retirement. More ...
In Brown's eyes, this is actually an improvement. Brown claims up to 90 percent of players league-wide smoked marijuana when he began his career with the Lions in 1985.
It falls in line with some recent findings:
• Four out of 10 draft-eligible prospects from the 2012 class failed at least one school-administered drug test for marijuana; two in 10 failed multiple times, per a CBS Sports report from April.
• "About 70 percent" of prospects at the combine admitted to using marijuana, per an ESPN report.
• A 2009 report by the NCAA stated 26.7 percent of all football players admitted using marijuana over the past 12 months, the highest number of any athlete group they surveyed.
I suppose we should be stunned. Here in Culver City, Calif., we're a brief jog away from Venice Beach, where medical marijuana shacks dot the Pacific Ocean. As you walk by, vibrant youth hoist signs asking you to come in and "see the doctor." A surreal scene, but a testament to how easy it is to get your hands on the drug.
Marijuana has infused our culture and dotted college campuses for decades. Brown's estimates are eye-catching and perhaps disappointing, depending on your perspective. It's not something the league wants to put up with, but it's an issue and debate that goes far beyond the playing field.