Though there’s a lot written about marijuana legislation right now, the truth is that government laws are not the only thing preventing Americans from using medical and recreational marijuana – employers can and do prohibit their workers from using cannabis, even in areas where consumption would be otherwise legal.
One very high profile business that won’t allow its affiliated workers to use cannabis in any form, though these workers run extremely high risks of serious injuries that cannabis is thought to treat, is the NFL. And footballers are getting together to try to change the NFL’s staunchly puritanical views on marijuana. One of the most high-profile rally cries for the cause was at last week’s Southwest Cannabis Convention, which featured several former pro ball players endorsing weed in the league.
“We are human beings with pain and emotion, and the more people talk about it, the better off we will be,” said former NFL player Nate Jackson at the event.
Jackson belongs to the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition along with other former ballers Ricky Williams, Eben Britton, and Kyle Turley. Their main goal is not a free pass for cannabis use among players, but a more permissive and inquisitive stance on the medical benefits of weed from the NFL.
“Cannabis should have been implemented into my recovery process,” said Turley, who suffered both concussions and knee injuries while playing in the league. “My career would have been much longer and I would not have to suffer through the pitfalls of my career and my life. The sad thing is people still aren’t being properly diagnosed.”
Football players aren’t the only ones endorsing MMJ in the NFL. Harvard Professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon wrote an open letter to the NFL last year, pleading for them to allow specific kinds of cannabis for the treatment of post-concussion syndrome, a very serious problem plaguing both players and the league’s image as of late.
“We are now pretty confident that cannabis, marijuana, has as a medicine, some qualities about it which make it clear that it is neuro-protective,” said Grinspoon. “We are talking about a particular formulation of the cannbanoids, that is a formulation which is largely made of CBD, and to a much lesser extent THC, and of course along with it other phytochemicals, like terpenoids, that come from the marijuana bud. And these three, these three components, work in an ensemble effect. There is no psychoactive effect. Anybody who takes this combination of high CBD and low THC, will if he tries to use it as a psychoactive drug, will be disappointed. He can’t get high on it.”
But as of yet, the pleas are falling on deaf ears. At last week’s conference Turley said, “The NFL is becoming more against cannabis, and they still neglect to follow the science.”