Pubdate: Thu, 24 Mar 2016
Source: Tucson Weekly (AZ)
Copyright: 2016 Tucson Weekly
Author: Mary Jane Doe


Could a Twitter rant lead to research on the benefits of treating CTE with MMJ?

Since its legalization in Denver there have been many jokes about the 
Broncos and marijuana. The fact that the football team's home, 
Denver, is also known as "Mile High" just makes it easier.

Even though marijuana is legal in Colorado, it is still banned in the 
NFL. Players are tested regularly for marijuana and punished if found 
to have any in their system.

With the Broncos in the Super Bowl the jokes were at an all-time 
high, but does marijuana have a place in the NFL and sports other 
than jokes and suspensions?

On Jan. 10, then New England Patriot, Chandler Jones had what the 
Boston Globe reported as a bad reaction to the substance K2. While 
the Patriots were on their playoff bye and had a day off, Jones found 
himself shirtless at a police station asking for help.

Could Jones have taken K2 because marijuana is banned? Note: The 
Patriots traded Jones on March 15 to the Arizona Cardinals.

K2 is not on the NFL's banned substance list and is not tested under 
the current rules of the collective bargaining agreement.

While Jones may have taken K2 for recreational use, he may have been 
looking for an alternative to opioids and non-inflammatory medications.

Marijuana is becoming more accepted for its medical uses and athletes 
know this. More ex-players are speaking about their positive 
experiences with weed.

The NFL is a violent and traumatic league. One look at any injury 
report during the season shows this. Similar to the medical 
community, the NFL, prescribes opioids and non-inflammatory pills for pain.

There are numerous stories from former players about the dangers of 
painkillers. In the past two years there have been two lawsuits filed 
against the NFL by former players involving painkillers.

One player who ignored team doctors and chose marijuana as his 
medicine is former Denver Broncos player Nate Jackson.

Jackson has spoken publicly about the NFL's need to change their 
stance on marijuana.

"I feel like I exited the game with my mind intact. And I credit that 
to marijuana in a lot of ways and not getting hooked on these pain 
pills that are recklessly distributed in the league when a guy gets 
an injury," said Jackson at the 2015 "Sports, Meds and Money" 
conference in Denver.

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe announced via Twitter 
on March 15 that he is donating $10,000 to the Realm of Caring 
Foundation-a nonprofit that supports people using marijuana to treat injuries.

The previous day the NFL acknowledged a link between football-related 
head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

The Realm of Caring Foundation is working with researchers at John 
Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania to develop 
studies into the impact of cannabinoids on CTE and other 
football-related injuries.

Monroe asked for more players to donate also.

"Let's put our hard earned money towards our health and wellness 
futures," Monroe said on Twitter.

"If I'm a fan, I'm pissed at the time I wasted listening to Goodell 
lie to me at the Super Bowl. As a player I sure am"

The foundation needs $100,000 to start the initial studies. Monroe 
says he will give more if, "nobody steps up."

Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar talked with Monroe the day of his 
Twitter explosion.

"Marijuana is something that was made illegal without any scientific 
basis, so we now have tons of people who view it in a negative light, 
for no scientific reason," Monroe told Farrar.

"I am just saying that it's time to look into the research, and see 
about the benefits it can have for our athletes."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom