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Colorado: NFL Players Fight Pain With Medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Nine former professional football players, all members of the Denver Broncos Alumni Association, met recently at CW Hemp offices in Boulder, CO for a tour and a firsthand lesson on the potential benefits of the marijuana plant. They all suffer daily from aches and pains that are a result of the combined nearly 700 NFL games in which they have played.

“Every day, I wake up in pain, from my ankles to my neck,” said Ebenezer Ekuban, 40, who played defensive end for nine NFL seasons. “It’s part of the territory. I know what I signed up for.”

Football players have treated pain for years with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, powerful prescription painkillers, and alcohol. One study says that retired NFL players use opioids at four times the rate of the general population. Marijuana advocates say there's a safer, healthier alternative available.

“This pain is never going away. My body is damaged,” said Eugene Monroe, 30, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens last year just three weeks after becoming the first active player to publicly call on the NFL to permit medical marijuana. “I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with pills was slowly killing me. Now I’m able to function and be extremely efficient by figuring out how to use different formulations of cannabis.”

Colorado: Jake Plummer Rips NFL's Marijuana Stance And 'Billionaire A--hole' Jerry Jones

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Jake Plummer, former Denver Broncos quarterback, spoke with BSC Denver recently, criticizing the NFL for its marijuana ban and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for denying the link between CTE and football. He even called Jones a 'billionaire a--hole."

"I have a hard time with it because everybody says, 'Oh, poor NFL millionaires. Oh, you poor people.' They don't understand," Plummer told BSN Denver. "Maybe they should have a little more to say about the owners that are billionaires, they're not millionaires; they're billionaires."

"Like Jerry Jones, who says it's 'absurd' that there would be a link between brain trauma, football and CTE," Plummer said. "Shame on him for saying that, that billionaire a--hole. It's the worst thing in the world for a guy like that to say. That's where we're sitting; grown-ass men are asked to go out there for millions of dollars -- which, yeah, it's a lot of money -- bang themselves around and completely f--- their lives over for their 40s and 50s. So yeah, poor football players is what I say. If you're a grown-ass man, you should be allowed to make grown-ass decisions."

Plummer is now 10 years into retirement and has seen the negative physical effects football has had on teammates.

But Cowboys owner Jones is denying that football can cause CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

New York: Jim McMahon Thinks Marijuana Can Help Retired NFL Players

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Jim McMahon, quarterback for the Super Bowl XX-winning Chicago Bears, had a career plagued with injuries and still suffers with several injuries in retirement. But he says he has found help for that suffering with marijuana.

McMahon was on a panel of former NFL players at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York City, and he said there that NFL players need to get off opioid painkillers and instead use marijuana.

“There’s so many uses to this plant,” McMahon said, in an interview with the New York Daily News. “Hundreds of thousands of people are dying from [painkillers] and there’s not one case of people dying from the hemp plant.”

Former Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall agreed with McMahon.

“My quality of life has improved because of this,” Marshall said.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league doesn't plan to change its marijuana policy, despite many former players — as well as at least one current player, Eugene Monroe — advocating for marijuana use.

“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 in February. “I don’t foresee a change in that clearly in the short term.”

U.S.: Baltimore Ravens Tackle Monroe Urges NFL To End Marijuana Ban, Reduce Opioid Use

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Football League should reduce the use of opioids and allow injured players to use medical marijuana, Baltimore Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe wrote in an essay published in The Players' Tribune on Monday.

"The NFL relies heavily on opioids to get players back on the field as soon as possible, but studies have shown medical marijuana to be a much better solution," Monroe wrote in an essay titled "Getting off the T Train," reports Pat McManamon at ESPN.

"[Medical marijuana] is safer, less addictive and can even reduce opioid dependence," Monroe wrote.

Both the NFL and the NFL Players Association officially ban any use of cannabis. Monroe said it's time for that policy to come to an end. He called for the league and union to:

• Remove marijuana from the banned substance list;
• Fund cannabis research, especially as it relates to the brain disease CTE; and
• Stop "overprescribing addictive and harmful opioids."

"I'm not asking the NFL to prescribe players cannabis," Monroe wrote. "I'm calling on the league to remove its testing protocols for cannabis. It just makes sense."

US: Retired Broncos Quarterback Jake Plummer Wants NFL To Reconsider Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Another NFL player has publicly asked league officials and the NFL Players Association to reconsider their ban on medical marijuana. Following in the footsteps of Baltimore Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe, who yesterday pledged $10,000 to aid marijuana research, retired Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer is also asking for the NFL to research the benefits of medical marijuana.

Plummer is a user of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the hemp plant used to treat many physical and psychological ailments. The NFL admitted to a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) earlier this week. Many doctors believe that CBD is effective in treating the degenerative brain disease.

Plummer has been taking prescribed CBD oil for a year and says he feels so good he considered the idea of returning to play for the Denver Broncos almost a decade after retiring.

"I'm 41 and the Broncos need a new quarterback," Plummer recently told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I'm not thinking about it but the thought crossed my mind because my body feels great after playing for 10 years in the league and being retired. I owe a lot of that to CBD and what it's done for me."

Plummer and Monroe also are trying to generate funds toward an initiative being sponsored by Realm of Caring, a non-profit advocacy group that researches medical purposes for cannabis.

Maryland: Baltimore Ravens Tackle Gives $10K To Marijuana Research, Asks Players To Contribute

Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe pledged $10,000 to marijuana research.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

In response to an NFL official admitting for the first time there is a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) Monday evening, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe pledged $10,000 to marijuana research. He posted 38 tweets and six retweets Monday night advocating for research on how medical marijuana can help curb traumatic brain injuries.

Last week Monroe was interviewed by CNN. "The NFL will need to have legitimate information before they remove marijuana from the banned substance list and ultimately not hurt their product in the field," he said. "But there's opportunity in that space also, for the NFL to get involved and maybe lead efforts."

The league has not budged to remove marijuana from their banned substances list. Roger Goodell of the NFL was questioned about it at this year's Super Bowl. "It's an NFL policy and we believe it's the correct policy for now and in the best interest of our players and the long-term health of our players," he said.

The NFL Player's Association (NFLPA) agrees with NFL policy. "Marijuana is currently a banned substance under the collectively bargained Substances of Abuse Policy. Both parties to the policy (NFL and NFLPA) seek guidance from the independent medical professionals who administer the policy, and no change to marijuana's status as a banned substance has been recommended by those medical professionals."

U.S.: Medical Marijuana Advocates Run Chronic Pain Ads In USA Today NFL Editions

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Americans for Safe Access and Leafly team up to educate public on therapeutic effects of cannabis for chronic pain

Medical marijuana advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has teamed up with cannabis information resource Leafly to run advertisements starting Sunday in USA Today's NFL Special Edition, which will be read by football fans across the country.

The quarter-page ads will run for 30 days, followed by digital online ads, and will focus on the markets for the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles.

The USA Today advertisement depicts a football player with the captions "100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain," and "9 in 10 retired players suffer from pain on a daily basis." The ad then points readers to further information on the therapeutic effects of medical marijuana on chronic pain. "Medical marijuana works on pain even when opiates don't," reads the ad before directing readers to the website: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/football.

California: Company Says Lane Recognition Technology Provides Boost To Marijuana Industry

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A California company which specializes in custom vending machines and automated retailing systems announced on Wednesday that its new Lane Recognition Technology will have a "profound impact" on America's growing legal marijuana industry.

According to a press release from AVT, Inc., the technology, which identifies every item in its temperature controlled storage area, provides verification on each package that it dispenses. The system eliminates human error, and provides 100 percent dispensing accuracy, according to the company.

This can be especially important in retail environments where precise "seed-to-sale" tracking is often required.

The use of marijuana to treat a variety of conditions is now allowed in almost half the country, reports CNN. New York was one of the latest states to pass a form of medical marijuana legalization.

"The momentum has picked up recently," CNN reported, as more states line up to pass sensible laws regarding the medical use of cannabis.

U.S.: New NFL Policy Would Reduce Punishments For Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Football League is ready to address the marijuana issue by renegotiating its drug policy; the new rules will reportedly reduce the punishments for cannabis use.

The drug policy renegotiation, which has been underway since 2011, will also significantly increase the threshold for a positive marijuana test, reports Dan Graziano at ESPN.

A source told ESPN the NFL's cannabis policy is outdated, pointing out the World Anti-Doping Agency has a higher threshold for a positive marijuana test than does the football league.

Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association has expressed to the league an interested in studying medical marijuana, but believes the policy changes are immediately needed, in the meantime.

In a standoff over arbitration of discipline, the players' association has asked that disciplinary appeals be heard by an independent arbitrator. The NFL continues to insist that the commissioner have final say over such matters.

Many players have lobbied for relaxing the punishments for marijuana use, citing cannabis as a safe way to relieve pain and stress, reports Chris Mascaro at Sports Illustrated.

Washington: Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll Says NFL Should Explore Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Since Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll is from one of the only two states in the U.S. where cannabis is legal -- and since the other team in the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos, are from the other one -- it's no surprise that Carroll was asked Monday about marijuana.

Coach Carroll was asked for his opinion on the use of medical marijuana in the National Football League, reports John Breech at CBS Sports.

"We have to continue to explore and compete to find ways that are going to make our game a better game and take care of our players in the best way possible," Carroll responded. "The fact that it's in the world of medicine is obviously something [that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] realizes and him making the expression that we need to follow the information and the research absolutely I'm in support of.

"Regardless of what other stigmas may be involved, I think we have to do this because the world of medicine is trying to do the exact same thing and figure it out and they're coming to some conclusions," Carroll said.

U.S.: NFL Commissioner Won't Rule Out Medical Marijuana Use By Players

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Despite marijuana now being legal in two states (Colorado and Washington) that host National Football League teams (the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks), and despite the fact that cannabis is now legal for medical use in 20 states and is extremely useful for sports injuries, it's still a violation of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement to use it.

Under that agreement, players who test positive for cannabis can be suspended, but that could change, reports John Breech at CBS Sports. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday left open the possibility that players could be allowed to use medical marijuana in the future.

Goodell was asked if there would ever be a time when players in states where medical marijuana is legal, would be allowed to use it. Instead of answering with a flat no, Goodell said, "I don't know what's going to develop as far as the next opportunity for medicine to evolve and to help either deal with pain or help deal with injuries, but we will continue to support the evolution of medicine," reports ESPN.com.

U.S.: NFL Under Pressure To Ease Harsh Penalties For Marijuana Use

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Football League has fallen behind the times, when it comes to acceptance of marijuana. The NFL, so far, has stubbornly refused to follow the lead of the public's shifting opinion about recreational cannabis use.

The Marijuana Policy Project highlighted this discrepancy recently when it paid $5,000 for a 48-foot-wide billboard in Denver prior to the Broncos' season opener against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, reports David Lariviere at Forbes. The billboard urged the league to "stop driving players to drink" with harsh marijuana penalties, noting "a safer choice is now legal (here)" after Colorado voters in November approved legalization measure Amendment 64.

The MPP has also launched a petition on Change.org directed at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, calling on the league to change its harsh penalties for marijuana.

"For years, the NFL has been punishing players for using marijuana despite the fact that it is far less harmful than alcohol, a substance widely embraced by the league," said Mason Tvert, director of communications at MPP.

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