Former DT claims '70-80 percent' of NFL players use marijuana

Veteran defensive tackle Terry "Tank" Johnson has claimed that three quarters of players in the NFL use marijuana.

The drug is on the NFL's "substances of abuse" list, but according to Johnson up to 80 percent of players in the league still use the drug.

Speaking to Fusion TV the seven-year DT revealed the extent to which players are using banned substances such as marijuana.

"Seventy to 80 percent. I hate to say that as if it's a bad thing, but I think that would be about accurate."

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington was banned for the entire 2014 season earlier this week for violating the NFL Substances of Abuse policy related to marijuana, and many more players could be caught if Johnson's claims are accurate.

Johnson played in the NFL for seven seasons, with the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals, and believes players use the drug to relax.

"They don't seem like it's as hard as the other drugs, but it's a good way to relax and enjoy yourself and have a good time, so I think that's why guys gravitate towards 'the green'."

He also explained how marijuana helps players combat pain, and added that “managing and tolerating your pain is how you make your money in this game.”

Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders also explained to Fusion why players use such drugs.

“The drug isn't for me," he said. "But honestly I know a lot of people and for them it allows them to focus, it allows them to go about their day from an anxiety standpoint — it relieves anxiety and things of that sort. If the drug is helping you, I honestly believe that they should legalize it.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has recently claimed that the league "would consider" the use of medical marijuana to treat injuries such as concussion if deemed appropriate.

“I’m not a medical expert. We will obviously follow signs. We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that.” At the moment, though, he added, “our medical experts are not saying that.”