Football Player

Ngaio Bealum: Jocks for Pot

It’s time to let the pros (openly) smoke weed.


The headlines have been fast and furious lately: Former NFL QB Jim McMahon admits he uses medical marijuana. Ravens player Eugene Monroe donates ten thousand dollars to medical cannabis research. Former NFL QB Jake Plummer calls for more medical marijuana research. Former NBA player Jay Williams says that 80% of NBA players use marijuana. Former Portland Trailblazer Cliff Robinson is set to open a cannabis garden in Oregon. In the past few months, more and more professional athletes have been willing to openly discuss marijuana This is a good thing for many reasons.

It’s good to see athletes, especially football players, get help with their aches and pains and head injuries. Jim McMahon said he was taking 100 percocet (possible side effects: shallow breathing, slow heartbeat; feeling light-headed, fainting; confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior; seizure (convulsions); problems with urination; or nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). feeling dizzy or drowsy; mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation; blurred vision; or dry mouth. Also: Death by accidental overdose is a possibility) per month before he started using cannabis (Possible side effects:  Dizziness, Shallow breathing, Red eyes and dilated pupils, Dry mouth, Increased appetite, excessive laughter, enhanced aesthetic experience). Not only does marijuana have fewer side effects, the side effects it does have are way less severe (who wants jaundice, for crying out loud?) and no one has ever overdosed on marijuana. Ever. Marijuana could be the safest drug known to mankind. Hell, you can die from drinking too much water, but no one has ever died from smoking too much weed. Shit, the NFL should damn near force the players to smoke weed. Did you know marijuana is a natural neuro-protectant? Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the person who discovered the THC molecule, co-authored a paper in 2002  showing how cannabis protects the brain during injury. And don’t forget Dr. Xia Zhang from Saskatoon. Zhang published a study in 2005 showing that weed helped the hippocampus create new brain cells.

Check this quote from a study done at the University of Washington looking for a drug to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease):

Ideally, a multidrug regimen, including glutamate antagonists, antioxidants, a centrally acting anti-inflammatory agent, microglial cell modulators (including tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-alpha] inhibitors), an antiapoptotic agent, 1 or more neurotrophic growth factors, and a mitochondrial function-enhancing agent would be required to comprehensively address the known pathophysiology of ALS. Remarkably, cannabis appears to have activity in all of those areas. Preclinical data indicate that cannabis has powerful antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.

Hmmm. Maybe someone from the NFLPA should send  Roger Goodell copies of these studies. I mean, if I was the head of a multi billion dollar industry facing the real threat of loss of not just business, but labor force (Many parents don’t let their kids play football anymore, and many young professional players are opting for early retirement, citing fear of long lasting brain damage) I would do everything in my power to make sure people had safe access to a medicine that has been proven safe and effective. Besides that, It would be cool to see Josh Gordon play a full season.

Apparently, the NBA also likes to hand out the percocet and oxycontin, while frowning at the marijuana. It’s kind of funny in a way, because NBA players love marijuana. In fact, marijuana wasn’t even on the banned substances list for NBA players until the late 90’s. Marijuana is a plant.  Marijuana won’t kill you or lead to stronger drugs. In fact, Jay Williams told the Fox Business website that he used cannabis to kick his addiction to oxycontin.  He continued to say in his interview: “I’m not condoning for anyone under 18 to use cannabis or marijuana, but from a medical perspective, it’s about time some of these brands like the NBA and MLB become a little bit more progressive and start thinking forward instead of being held captive in the past.”

He is correct, of course. I hope that the team owners and commissioners take his advice.


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