Former NFL players come out in support of medical marijuana

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon is suffering through Early Onset Dementia. It’s a disease usually reserved for the elderly. One that impacts your memory, thought process and cognitive abilities.

McMahon, who played 15 seasons in the NFL, is just 56 years old.

The former Super Bowl winning quarterback joined multiple ex-NFL players at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo this past week to advocate for the use of medical marijuana in the league.

“There’s so many uses to this plant,” McMahon said, via NY Daily News. “Hundreds of thousands of people are dying from (painkillers) and there’s not one case of people dying from the hemp plant.”

The expo also featured former NFL players Leonard Marshall, Nate Jackson, Charlie Adams and Eben Britton.

It comes on the heels of some controversy relating to the Baltimore Ravens decision to release starting left tackle Eugene Monroe after he openly advocated for the use of medical marijuana as a healthier alternative to opioids. Some had drawn the not so far-fetched conclusion that Monroe was released primarily for his stance on the NFL’s drug policy.

Marshall, who played in the NFL for 12 seasons, echoed McMahon’s sentiment on the issue, indicating that his “quality of life” has improved due to the use of marijuana as a medical substance.

Britton, a former offensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears expanded on this.

“Juxtaposing my experiences with pharmaceutical drugs like Vicodin and Percocet, that made me angry and irritable, frustrated, didn’t get rid of any of the pain, made it difficult to sleep, increased my heart rate and made me feel crazy,” Britton concluded. “On the other side of that there’s cannabis that helped me sleep, put me into a healing state of being where I was relieved from stress and anxiety as well as feeling the pain relief.”

This is a stance that multiple former and current NFL players have taken since the entire medical marijuana debate became prevalent around the league.

It does seem like a matter of time before the league and its archaic practices are overhauled as it relates to this. That’s only magnified by the fact that the NFL itself met with doctors of Monroe’s choosing to discuss medical marijuana as a healthier alternative to today’s pain-killers.