During the past decade the amount of scientific proof of links between football and brain injuries has continued to pile up. A study released last week found a strong a link between ex-football players and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The brain disease was found to be present in 110 of the 111 former National Football League (NFL) players examined.
The chilling finding shows the harsh reality that NFL players are bound to suffer debilitating health conditions while playing as well as after calling time on their NFL careers. The NFL has often been criticized for hiding the dangerous effects of concussions. The league has often chosen to play down the seriousness of CTE and some franchises like the popular Dallas Cowboys have not been very open to accepting that there is a link between the sport and brain injuries.
The NFL not only plays down the possibility of CTE being a serious issue but also has a strict policy on the kind of medication NFL players can take in order to cope with different injuries and pain management. Various studies show that marijuana can provide several benefits over opiates for pain management. It is safe, non-addictive and lowers the effects of concussions. Cannabis can also help to treat violent behavior and alcohol abuse that might result from several concussions. The herb has several beneficial properties including being pain-relieving, analgesic, neuro-protective, and anti-inflammatory.
Cannabis Saves Lives!
NFL Does Not Encourage Medical Marijuana Usage
All of these benefits can help a sport where high physical and cranial impacts are common. The bigger issue is why the NFL has not been open to allowing its players to consume medical marijuana and deal with their pain and injuries. The NFL has a strict policy when it comes to drugs and marijuana is still viewed as a drug. However, it might be time for the NFL to once again rethink its stand on medical marijuana as the NFL received criticism after it denied the appeal of free agent Mike James from consuming marijuana to treat his condition.
James developed a drug dependence on medical painkillers after talking them to treat the pain linked to being a football player. James’ doctor informed him that cannabis was a safer alternative. The former player of the Tampa Bay Bucs and Detroit Lions wanted the NFL to approve his request to use marijuana but the NFL has informed James that he cannot play in the league while using the plant which is already legal in eight US states.
In a statement, James said
I am hopeful that I’ll be able to keep playing football. It is a game that I love very dearly. I know right now I’m doing something that makes some people uncomfortable, and that I’m going against the establishment to push for a change in the way they look at this medicine