Now a-days, it’s easy to brush off someone’s ailments and prescribe them painkillers to satisfy their injuries, but is that really the best option?
Although medicinal marijuana is on the rise, it’s still not opening the minds of the big wigs behind the industry of professional sports, who continue to hold a prohibitionary stance in spite of a growing vocal outcry from players both past and current. Just recently, former NFL legend Jim McMahon publicly stated that medical marijuana helped end his battle with addiction to prescription medication. Now, other sports colleagues are joining in trying the alternative and become the advocacy voice of cannabis, but of course it probably won’t make a difference. Professional athletes have the stereotype we all acknowledge to a degree, and that is that they endure many beatings and scars, bumps and bruises. They retire early and the public eye doesn’t follow them once they’re out of the spotlight to see what becomes of their injuries, and hench their recovery. Of course since the beginning, aches and pains have been treated with a steady stream of highly addictive prescription painkillers without too much question.
Jay Williams admitted to FOXBusiness.com, “It’s easy for doctors to prescribe you Oxycontin…and look, I was addicted to it for 5 plus years. I know.” It has become increasingly obvious that this is not an ideal way to treat our professional athletes, with addictive drugs that have terrible side effects, but proposals to pursue marijuana or CBD oil as an alternative means of treatment has been a tough sell. On Tuesday, Eugene Monroe tweeted a plea in favor of CBD oil, stating that it removes the psychoactive THC responsible for the high to which the professional sports industry so strongly objects. Of course it was met with the NFL still being stubbornly opposed, to which he then tweeted passionately “This is not about marijuana. It’s about a more sensible approach to health care and research so we can protect the game and its players!” Jake Plummer and Monroe are both pumping their own money into a program “When the Bright Lights Fade” designed to facilitate a partnership between Johns Hopkins University and a non-profit medical marijuana research group called Realm of Caring.
The players are hoping to fund important research that will prove whether CBD oil is an effective treatment against chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disorder resulting in deterioration of the brain. Recently, the NFL acknowledged that concussions, par for the course for any professional footballer, are a direct catalyst for CTE. Yet the NFL shows no motion toward funding any cannabis research based on this acknowledgement. Although they’re becoming more lenient, the NBA continues to offer a hardline against cannabis use of any kind, reinforcing their word with 4 drug tests per season, conducted at random.
All of this leads us to question why the sports industry is so hesitant to examine a form of treatment from which its players get enough benefit to risk such hefty and near-certain penalties. Unfortunately, they likely believe that endorsing marijuana research would negatively impact their brand. Hopefully the future holds changes for the NFL and NBA, and our future generation of athletes.