HOUSTON -- Several former NFL players associated with various advocacy groups are lobbying for the league to revise its policy on medical marijuana, currently on its list of banned substances.
Some interested parties hoping to change it hosted a cannabis convention in the heart of Houston, right in the middle of all the Super Bowl festivities. The event, dubbed “Cannabis in Professional Sports” and presented by Vapen CBD and Merry Jane, was held Wednesday at Live Nation’s Revention Music Center just ahead of Super Bowl LI.
“Cannabis in Professional Sports” event organizer Rory Mendoza said he felt Super Bowl week, with the nation’s spotlight shining on the city of Houston, was the perfect time to spread his message of what cannabis can do for current and former athletes alike.
FOX 5 sent a crew to check it out.
NFL greats including former quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champ Jim McMahon attended the event. McMahon said marijuana is not a drug, but a medicinal herb that is better at relieving pain than prescription painkillers. McMahon, who has been open about his struggle with opioid addiction, said marijuana isn’t addictive.
San Diego State’s Kyle Turley was there, too. The former NFL defensive lineman told FOX 5 medical marijuana saved his life.
“I was depressed all the time and had thoughts of suicide. All of these things were neurologically disrupting my life," Turley said.
Turley credits medical marijuana for his miraculous transition. Turley said he still adheres to a strict cannabis regime and doesn’t use anything else to control pain.
On the day of the cannabis conference, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the issue during his news conference essentially saying the marijuana ban won’t change anytime soon.
"It’s an NFL policy and we believe it’s the correct policy, for now, in the best interest of our players and the long-term health of our players,” Goodell said.
As it stands now, players face fines and suspensions for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Even if a team plays in a state where marijuana use is legal, the players cannot use it.