Chris Long: ‘Long way to go’ to destigmatize marijuana use

uva footballUVA football alum Chris Long said Tuesday that the reaction to his comments about marijuana are an indication that “we have a long way to go” to overcome the stigma associated with marijuana use.

“I think the reaction has been interesting because even people that support you, it just shows the stigmatization is so ingrained. A lot of people like now are tweeting at me and every tweet is like, ‘Hey man, are we gonna spark one up dude?’ I’m like, chill with the stereotypes,” Long said in an interview on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo.”

“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,'” said Long, who last week, in an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show,” said he used his “fair share” of marijuana during his 11-year NFL career.

“I’m not a dry snitch, I’m not going to put a percentage on how much the league smokes, but I certainly enjoyed my fair share on a regular basis throughout my career,” said Long, who announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this month.

“If not for that, I’m not as capable of coping with the stresses of the day-to-day NFL life.”

Long, a 2008 alum of UVA, said Tuesday he felt the stories about his revelation buried the lead.

“The lead was not that I smoked marijuana. The lead was that I talked about trying to destigmatize it. And 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 said.

Story by Chris Graham

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