Carroll weighs in on medicinal pot

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll agrees with the notion that the NFL should look into medicinal marijuana as a means of taking the best possible care of its players.

While not explicitly coming out in favor of it, Carroll answered a question about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's recent comments on the topic by making it clear he thinks it's an avenue worth pursuing.

"I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible," Carroll said at a news conference Monday following his team's first practice of Super Bowl week. "Regardless of what other stigmas might be involved, we have to do this because the world of medicine is doing this."

Medicinal marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Washington is one of those states. Colorado and Washington recently legalized marijuana for recreational use.

That this season's AFC Championship Game was played in Denver brought the issue to the forefront of the NFL news cycle, and Goodell said last week that the league could look into allowing medical marijuana if science showed it could be used to treat concussions.

"We will follow medicine, and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that," he said at a news conference last week in New York. "Our medical experts are not saying that right now."

Marijuana remains on the NFL's banned substances list, and two members of the Seahawks secondary -- cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond -- have served drug suspensions this season. Browner's suspension is ongoing.

Removing marijuana from the league's banned substance list likely would be difficult because the federal government and interstate commerce laws still consider it illegal and prohibit it from being transported across state lines.