The NFL’s had a bad year. First 96% of all players were found to have symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (pretty bad) and now they’ve started suing the organization for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Good thing the NFL has an ace in its sleeve in the bountiful and highly therapeutic qualities of marijuana, which have been shown to increase brain cells in test rats, especially in the areas of CTE symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Also, Preeminent Harvard Psychiatrist Lester Grinspoon recently wrote an open letter to NFL commissioner of the National Football League, Roger S. Goodell asking the league use some of its massive multi-billion dollar profits to help fund research into the effects of cannabis on sufferers of CTE.

Except – oh, yeah, that’s right – the NFL actually outlaws the use of marijuana. So, no. You can’t use one of the only effective medicines against CTE if you’re still in the league. Bummer.

But that doesn’t mean that NFL players aren’t protecting their noggins in a shroud of indica smoke. In fact, former Falcon Jamal Anderson says the “bare minimum” of NFL players who smoke weed is 60 percent and that many use cannabis to use the symptoms of head trauma, along with other physical injuries sustained while on the job.

Though much progress is being done in marijuana legislation among U.S. states, there are still a whole lot of dead spots that treat weed like we were still 30 years back in Reagan puritanical territory. The NFL is clearly one of those states. If they can’t actively encourage or research into marijuana’s effect on the human brain (someone’s going to do it), the least Lester Greenspoon thinks they can do is stop penalizing them for self-medicating.

“I implore you to immediately stop subjecting players to drug tests for marijuana, so they no longer face severe penalties for choosing a potentially life-saving medicine that can be used legally in twenty states,” Grinnspoon said in his letter.

Parker Winship