SNL's Pete Davidson Calls Out The NFL's 'Disgusting' Anti-Marijuana Policy

By Dorri Olds 12/28/16

Davidson regularly uses medical marijuana to manage his Crohn's disease and advocates for others, including NFL players, to be allowed to do the same.

Pete Davidson
Photo via YouTube

At 23 years old, Pete Davidson is the youngest current cast member of Saturday Night Live. Davidson was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease around age 17 and is now a public advocate for medical marijuana. He told High Times, “I wouldn’t be able to do SNL if I couldn’t smoke weed.”

The debilitating symptoms of Crohn’s disease include abdominal pain, anemia, diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss.

Davidson tried doctor-prescribed medications to treat his condition, but said, “I found that the medicines that the doctors were prescribing me, and seeing all these doctors and trying new things, weed would be the only thing that would help me eat.”

Recently, he spoke out again—this time about the hypocrisy within the NFL. He voiced his anger over the league's recent 10-game suspension of Buffalo Bills offensive lineman, Seantrel Henderson. Henderson, who also suffers with Crohn’s, was suspended for using medical marijuana. 

While Henderson received a 10-game suspension for marijuana use, Davidson pointed out that much lighter punishments have been dealt to players for far worse offenses. Players like Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens and Josh Brown of the New York Giants were initially given a slap on the wrist for physically abusing their wives, though they were ultimately let go by their respective teams.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended from six games after being accused of sexual assault twice. The suspension was later reduced to four games.

In 2009, Andrea McNulty filed a civil suit against Roethlisberger and eight employees of the Harrah’s hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The suit alleged that Roethlisberger had raped McNulty in his room at the hotel in July 2008. Another rape accusation came in 2010 from an anonymous college student who said Roethlisberger raped her in a bathroom stall in the back of a nightclub in Milledgeville, Georgia.

On his Instagram, which has since been deleted, Davidson posted a statement under a photo of Henderson: “This is disgusting. This poor man (Henderson) is in pain and marijuana is the only thing that helps some Crohn’s patients. Fuck the NFL for not being woke. We need to spread more awareness about the severity of Crohn’s disease. Sending well wishes to Seantrel Henderson. This honestly really aggravates and upsets me when people don’t take this disease seriously. FYI (Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback) Ben Roethlisberger got a 6 game suspension for 2 accounts of sexual misconduct.”

While marijuana use is forbidden in the NFL rule book, players are allowed—and encouraged—to take opioid painkillers prescribed by doctors.

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Dorri Olds is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and several book anthologies. Find Dorri on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.