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NFL Reporters Shocked By San Francisco’s Love for Marijuana

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Sunday’s Super Bowl was the third in a row to feature at least one team from a state with legal marijuana, but it was the first to take place in a city where cannabis is virtually legal.

And a number of NFL reporters visiting host city San Francisco couldn’t help but notice how prevalent and normalized marijuana is in the City by the Bay:

Even former San Francisco 49ers star Deion Sanders was taken aback by marijuana’s prominence in the city these days:

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 and is, by most accounts, the easiest of the 23 states that now have medical cannabis programs in which to qualify for a legal recommendation. There’s no specific list of conditions that a patient must have in order to qualify, so a doctor in the Golden State can certify anyone for legal access if they think it will help more than hurt.

Even this reporter from Denver, where marijuana is officially legal for all adults over 21 — no doctor’s recommendation needed — was blown away:

One ESPN commentator contrasted the Bay Area’s love for cannabis with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments last week indicating that the league isn’t expect to change its prohibition on marijuana use by players — even for medical purposes — anytime soon:

The burst of tweets from out-of-state sports scribes is reminiscent of this classic clip of a happily astounded Dallas reporter from 2010, when the San Francisco Giants bested the Texas Rangers in the World Series:

As more states enact marijuana reforms and as destigmatization continues, sports leagues like the NFL are going to have to catch up to the public and stop punishing players who choose to imbibe.

And if momentum continues on the current pace, it won’t be long until every major sports championship is played in a city where marijuana users are no longer treated like criminals.

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