8 Former NFL Players Share Their Thoughts on Cannabis

8 Former NFL Players Share Their Thoughts on Cannabis

Cannabis, General, NFL

I’m meeting up with a huge—massive, actually—former National Football League player. He’s smiling, clearly doing fine, not in acute pain. We’re here to talk about weed, maybe even share a joint. “Thanks for meeting me,“ he says. “We really need to get this story out there. The best way to get things done is through a collaborative effort.”

This footballer’s story goes something like this: At one point during his career, he suffered a serious injury that required surgery. His coach wanted him to get back on the field as soon as possible, so he opted for a shorter rehabilitation period than the one recommended. He asked his doctor for strong painkillers to deal with the “discomfort.”
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A Touchdown for Treatment Options

A Touchdown for Treatment Options

Cannabis, General, NFL, Pain

Imagine, if you will, what it’s like to be an offensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL).

You line up in a state of catlike readiness, and the moment the quarterback snaps the ball, a wall of 300-pound behemoths comes plowing toward you. Your job—your only job—is to keep these monsters from getting past you for the crucial few seconds it takes the quarterback to throw or hand the ball off. Then do it 40 or 50 more times a game.

Now imagine doing it stoned. It’s not exactly the mellow experience most cannabis consumers enjoy. For former NFL offensive tackle Eben Britton, however, using cannabis was a way to combat the pain of the sport without the fistfuls of pharmaceuticals football doctors hand out like Halloween candy. He even consumed it before games a few times.

“I just had a much better experience. I felt much more in my body. The pills have a way of disconnecting you, making it really difficult to feel your feet on the ground,” recalled Britton, who played four years for the Jacksonville Jaguars and two for the Chicago Bears before retiring in 2014. “The connection of your nervous system and the brain-body connection as an offensive lineman is the most important thing. You have to be able to feel your feet on the ground when you’re blocking a defensive lineman, a 300-pound tank.”
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Top 10 Sports Cannabis Stories of 2017

Top 10 Sports Cannabis Stories of 2017

Business, Cannabis, General, MMA, NBA, NFL, NHL

2017 was a very big year for the sports cannabis movement. Here are the top 10 sports cannabis stories from this year (in no particular order).

1. Retired professional athletes continue to unite to push for cannabis reform

When retired professional athletes speak out in support of cannabis reform in professional sports they risk becoming victims of the stigma associated with cannabis. Retired athletes risk losing endorsement deals, league appearances, broadcasting opportunities, coaching opportunities, and more when they come out in support of freeing the plant.

Despite those risks, a growing number of retired professional athletes are coming out publicly in support of cannabis reform. Retired National Basketball Association (NBA) players such as Clifford ‘Uncle Cliffy’ Robinson, John Salley, and Al Harrington have been very vocal in 2017 in calling for the NBA to get on the rights side of history. Retired National Football League (NFL) veterans like Eugene Monroe, Ricky Williams, Kyle Turley, Marvin Washington, Boo Williams, Nate Jackson, and Eben Britton have been pushing all year for reform in the NFL.

Retired athletes in other leagues like Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have stepped up big time in 2017 in the name of reform cannabis policies in professional sports. Organizations such as Athletes for Care have helped athletes from all professional sports leagues unite together to amplify their voices in calling for cannabis reform in professional sports.
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A4C Members Meet with Chris Christie to Address Opioid Epidemic

A4C Members Meet with Chris Christie to Address Opioid Epidemic

Cannabis, General, NFL, NHL, Pain

Gov. Chris Christie delivered the keynote address Wednesday to a conference of doctors in Camden exploring alternatives to a rising tide of addiction and abuse of opioid pain medications.

The American Pain Society’s Turn the Tide Summit focused on exploring public-policy solutions to help regulate the prescribing and distribution of opioid pain relievers and to finding non-addictive alternatives.

“Health prescribers have to be part of the solution,” said Christie, who also leads a White House opioid crisis commission and has championed the issue in his final year in office. “We consume 85 percent of the opioid medications and we’re 4 percent of the world’s population.”
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Combatting America’s Opioid Epidemic

Combatting America’s Opioid Epidemic

Cannabis, General, MMA, NBA, NFL, NHL, Pain

Next week the American Pain Association (APA) will launch its “Turn the Tide Summit,” a national tour designed to address challenges, actionable strategies and best practices surrounding America’s opioid epidemic. With more than 40,000 deaths per year, the drug overdose epidemic has taken more lives than any war, terrorist attack, accident, or gun violence.

“We need more dialogue and discussion on this epidemic,” said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, APA President. The visionary and curator of Turn the Tide, Gupta said “Currently, a lot of blame for this epidemic is being put on patients with “Chronic Pain” or “Mental illness” who, in fact, are the victims and not the cause.”
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7 Former Professional Athletes Turned Investors

7 Former Professional Athletes Turned Investors

Business, General, MMA, NBA, NFL, NHL

Professional athletes are some of the most highly paid individuals on the planet. Their multimillion-dollar contracts make headline news on a regular basis, and they never seem to go down. However, when retirement rolls around, these athletes are in dire need of a new challenge that can make them a little extra money. And that’s where being an investor comes in handy.
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Why Former NHLer Riley Cote Wants Hockey to Embrace Cannabis

Why Former NHLer Riley Cote Wants Hockey to Embrace Cannabis

Cannabis, General, NHL

Riley Cote broke the rules constantly throughout his career with the Philadelphia Flyers. He scored just one goal and six assists in his 156 NHL games. But as an enforcer, Cote’s success was measured in infractions, and by that standard — with more than 50 fights and 411 penalty minutes — he did just fine.

It was a short career, but one Cote wouldn’t have had at all if he wasn’t willing to throw punches with some of the toughest players in the league. And like many of the players he went punch for punch with, his trade caused him an enormous amount of physical and mental stress.
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How A Steelers Great Lined Up Behind Medical Marijuana

How A Steelers Great Lined Up Behind Medical Marijuana

Cannabis, General, NFL, NHL, Pain

During his Hall of Fame career for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jack Ham was renowned as one of the canniest, fastest linebackers ever to play, doling out his share of bruising punishment to opposing ball carriers.

These days the man still celebrated as “The Hammer” has a very different relationship with pain: He’s committed to helping people treat it.
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Can Cannabis Help You Get In Shape?

Can Cannabis Help You Get In Shape?

Cannabis, General, MMA, NBA, NFL, NHL, Pain

The World Anti-Doping Agency, which regulates drug use for the Olympics, announced earlier this month that in 2018 it will no longer ban CBD, the compound in cannabis thought to have the most medical benefits without any mind-altering effects. And leaders in the NFL, NBA and other American pro sports leagues are starting to reconsider their cannabis policies.

“We’ve been fundamentally misled,” said Riley Cote, who co-founded Athletes for Care, an organization that helps athletes adjust to life after sports.  Cote said he smoked cannabis throughout his eight seasons in pro hockey, including three years as a left winger for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
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Fighting the Stigma: UFC Stars Shed Light on their #1 Training Must Have

Fighting the Stigma: UFC Stars Shed Light on their #1 Training Must Have

Cannabis, MMA, Pain

It’s a new day. You’ve just climbed out of bed, ready to begin a routine that has proven successful in helping you achieve your daily goals. Is cannabis part of that routine? For millions of people worldwide, cannabis is a key ingredient in their recipe for success. Teachers, lawyers, fisherman, stay-at-home parents and professional athletes all share a common bond. It isn’t their use of cannabis, however—it’s their active lifestyle.

Active lifestyles, like those who live them, are not universally the same. A stay-at-home parent who readies the kids for school, does all the housekeeping and prepares meals is arguably no less active than a UFC fighter who trains eight hours a day. Most would agree an attorney who works sixteen hour days is leading an active life. But does that perception ­­­­change when considering the lifestyle of a fitness instructor or professional athlete? Of course not.
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