Franco Harris: I have no pain, but if I ever do I’ll use marijuana

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Franco Harris played in the NFL into his mid-30s, carried the ball more than 3,000 times, and often lined up as a blocking fullback on plays when he didn’t get the ball. He also played in an era of full-contact practices that would make today’s players weep. Throw in his status as a three-year starter at Penn State and his high school football career, and it’s safe to say he was in tens of thousands of collisions on the football field.

And he has something surprising to say: At age 67, he feels fine, mentally and physically.

“Even during my playing days, I really didn’t have to do anything with pain management,” Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’ve never had any long-term pain. I’ve been pretty lucky all the way back to high school. I’m even more amazed that at 67 I’m not dealing with more issues.”

But Harris knows the time may come when an old football injury — or just age — catches up with him. And as a result, he’s become an advocate for marijuana as a safer painkiller than opioids.

“I will tell you this, if it ever comes to a point where I do need pain management, I’d feel very lucky and happy now that we have medicinal marijuana in Pennsylvania,” Harris said.

Harris is urging the NFL to take marijuana off its banned substance list and allow players to use it if prescribed by a doctor, which is now legal in most states.

“The NFL is reviewing its position on medical marijuana,” Harris said. “They’re really reviewing their whole pain management regimen and how those things are handled, but if you don’t mind me giving you my personal feeling, I feel in any state that has approved medical marijuana, the league should remove medical marijuana from being a banned substance. I feel that recreational marijuana should be a banned substance in the NFL, but medical marijuana has a different composition.”

As the NFL continues to face criticism over widespread use of painkillers distributed by team doctors, it’s surprising that the league hasn’t been more willing to consider permitting medical marijuana. Players like Harris speaking out may change that.

60 responses to “Franco Harris: I have no pain, but if I ever do I’ll use marijuana

  1. I remember when Franco played, he was criticized for typically running out of bounds rather than lowering his head and shoulders and fighting for an extra yard like Earl Campbell, Walter Payton, Larry Csonka and many others used to do back in the 70’s. looks like Franco knew what he was doing. Glad to hear he is doing well!

  2. Noooo, Franco! Vicodin is the way to go! They give you a good buzz and you don’t have to worry about the smell. Doctors hand those out like candy. They must be OK.

  3. An ex, almost 70 year old former player advocating for the use of medical marijuana for pain treatment 30 years after he last played is one thing. A 20 something player with maturity issues making millions of dollars while, under constant pressure to perform is something else. Marijuana will help with pain, but not like an opioid will. It won’t be a one or the other proposition. Instead there will be players who begin abusing both.

  4. Tatum is in the ground with one ring that resulted in part from a game Franco (and Bleier) couldn’t play in. Tatum’s name doesn’t ever come up for enshrinement in Canton. Tatum spent his abbreviated life bitter and complaining.

    Meanwhile, Franco is Pro Football Hall of Famer that is still loving life with 4 Super Bowl rings. Franco continues to spend his life with an acute mind and a sense of humor.

    Who would you rather be?

  5. average visit at a “traveling” medical marijuana doctor in Montana is just over one and one half minutes. Real easy to diagnose that medical need. Every player under thirty will need it badly.

  6. He never has to worry about CTE, he always ran out of bounds…..ask Jack Tatum……
    ——
    That would be difficult. ‘The assassin’ passed in 2010.

  7. Things like this should be between a patient and their doctor, but advocates for big government control are everywhere. Often times, believe it or not, they’re from people who consider themselves conservatives, who generally say they’re in favor of smaller government. I guess we like to tell other people what to do with their lives, but we hate it when others want to control our lives.

  8. There’s nothing like the brain damage that marijuana use brings. Don’t worry. You potheads will never notice it. It also deadens the conscience. You can be the rottenest person but getting high regularly allows you to feel good about yourself. The worst people I’ve ever known were potheads.

  9. lingsun54 says:
    Mar 26, 2017 12:56 PM
    There’s nothing like the brain damage that marijuana use brings. Don’t worry. You potheads will never notice it. It also deadens the conscience. You can be the rottenest person but getting high regularly allows you to feel good about yourself. The worst people I’ve ever known were potheads.

    1 8
    —————–
    Please provide something with some scientific evidence of your claims because there are many universities saying the exact opposite.

  10. There’s nothing like the brain damage that marijuana use brings. Don’t worry. You potheads will never notice it. It also deadens the conscience.
    ———————-

    I’d be curious to read the accredited studies you surely have on hand to back up this bold statement.
    Please note “I met some pot heads once” and “my dad told me..” are not ‘proof’.

  11. I” to lazy to type the whole link but just go to drugabuse.gov and you can find tons of stuff on the long term affects of marijuana use……… and SHOCKING…… its not good for you

  12. Cry about it all you want but the NFL will not remove a drug that is illegal under federal law.

  13. And you’ll be able to score some from Martavis Bryant or LeVeon Bell whenever you need it Franco. Keep it in the Steeler family. 😎

  14. “Marijuana will help with pain, but not like an opioid will. It won’t be a one or the other proposition. Instead there will be players who begin abusing both.”

    If the league limits them to CBD products there is nothing to abuse.

    Marijuana has 2 compounds in it that will effect you. One is the psychoactive compound THC, which is what gets you high.

    The other is the painkilling compound CBD. It has zero addictive effect, has zero psychoactive effect, and simply kills pain without side effects. It will not get you high and if you are not in pain is pointless to take.

  15. thesteelhurtin says:
    Mar 26, 2017 1:21 PM
    lingsun54 says:
    Mar 26, 2017 12:56 PM
    There’s nothing like the brain damage that marijuana use brings. Don’t worry. You potheads will never notice it. It also deadens the conscience. You can be the rottenest person but getting high regularly allows you to feel good about yourself. The worst people I’ve ever known were potheads.

    ////////////

    Says the alcoholic

  16. Just for the record, Jack Tatum and Franco Harris were friends. They had the same agent when they came into the league. Both were great players. Tatum always got a bum rap because a player got severely injured on a throw that was late, high, and over he middle. The pass should have never been thrown. Tatum made a clean legal play. After that play, Tatum was never the same. He was a great person and that play took a huge psychological toll on him. I don’t know of a nicer person than Jack Tatum. Both he and Franco were great people. Both were very humble, despite all of their success.

  17. The NFL must be sad to hear about this. How dare you smoke that devils lettuce !! you take your oxy’s and Norco’s like your told !

  18. tonebones says:
    ,but advocates for big government control are everywhere. Often times, believe it or not, they’re from people who consider themselves conservatives

    Hey bone head – look up Libertarian, they are very Conservative and also the majority of Conservatives believe in the legalization of Pot, you just watch way too much CNN

  19. joeychittwood says:
    Mar 26, 2017 2:01 PM

    I” to lazy to type the whole link but just go to drugabuse.gov and you can find tons of stuff on the long term affects of marijuana use……… and SHOCKING…… its not good for you
    ——————————————————

    Weird, I’d have assumed based on your argument that the pot heads would be the ones “to [sic] lazy” to do something (or spell ‘I’m’ and use the correct form of ‘too’ and the right ellipses properly).

  20. I remember an interview back in the eighties where Jim Brown said he preferred John Riggins over Franco Harris “because Harris always runs out of bounds to avoid contact.”

    In hindsight, maybe Franco Harris was the smart one?

  21. Jack Tatum was an unrepentant miserable POS, never apologized for a vicious cheap hit in an exhibition game that parallelized Daryl Stingley, the genesis of the hatred the Patriots have for the Raiders, along with the stolen playoff game by referee Ben Drieth and the phantom roughing the passer call in 1976. The tuck rule is constantly brought up by the losers in Oakland. That was nothing compared to these two instances…by the way the tuck was a correct call and if the raiders could have picked up 1 yard on two tries in the previous possession the tuck play never would have happened.

  22. doctorrustbelt says:
    Mar 26, 2017 3:42 PM
    dr. rydze only deals in growth hormone, anabolic steroids, and pain pills.

    *****************************************************************************

    The Bengals only deal in mediocrity and getting even more mediocre by any means feasible. Their personnel moves this off-season show that they’re executing quite well on that strategy per usual.

  23. jakec4 says:
    Mar 26, 2017 12:24 PM
    An ex, almost 70 year old former player advocating for the use of medical marijuana for pain treatment 30 years after he last played is one thing. A 20 something player with maturity issues making millions of dollars while, under constant pressure to perform is something else. Marijuana will help with pain, but not like an opioid will. It won’t be a one or the other proposition. Instead there will be players who begin abusing both.

    It’s a good thing your on this. I’m not sure how its possible to abuse marijuana tho, I’m pretty certain your facts (ahem) are skewed somewhat. Sure opiods, weed no. Also it is beneficial for other than pain management, it’s also proven helpful for many emotional issues. It’s just a shame everyone doesn’t have your resolve and clarity. Thank you for your service.

  24. There’s an enormous gray area here. Once you remove it from the banned substance list, you’ll see more and more players getting prescriptions for it. And with it being legal in select states, it really could be a factor in future free agency. But I think ultimately, the fear is the player, “taking his medicine as prescribed”, will likely show up to practice or a game baked out of his gourd.

  25. johnny07022 says:
    Mar 26, look up Libertarian2017 3:39 PM

    ************
    Oooh. Sounds like I touched a little hypocritical nerve. All you righties are the same. You just hide your fear of women behind different labels. Don’t be afraid. They don’t bite.

  26. Great to hear a player from the 70’s who is almost 70 refer to reefer as something positive. Although he caught hell from his fellow players at the time for not staying inbounds, his ability to not need either opioids or cannabis for pain or suffering from CTE now prove he was thinking long term. Good work Franco!

  27. Cannabis is not a pain killer. It can however help you concentrate less on the pain. When in chronic pain even a couple hours without the pain being overwhelming is bliss.
    Pain pills is a hazard in my business. I’ve seen many lose everything because of those “legal” pain killers.

    – proud member of the 420 club.

  28. Glad to hear Franco has been spared the lingering pains and
    mental issues that many players from that era have suffered.
    They played a different brand of football back then, and it wasn’t
    for the faint of heart. Nice to see him still active and sharp.

    I’m sure many players used pot back in the 70s and 80s, but
    you don’t hear people saying their lives have been destroyed
    because of the ‘evil weed’. Pain management is no joke, and
    pills are not always the best answer.

    Franco knows what he is talking about.

  29. lingsun54 says:
    Mar 26, 2017 12:56 PM
    There’s nothing like the brain damage that marijuana use brings. Don’t worry. You potheads will never notice it. It also deadens the conscience. You can be the rottenest person but getting high regularly allows you to feel good about yourself. The worst people I’ve ever known were potheads.
    ————————————————————–

    So, every unnecessary war in modern times (war for profit) was initiated by a pothead? SMH

  30. Oooh. Sounds like I touched a little hypocritical nerve. All you righties are the same. You just hide your fear of women behind different labels. Don’t be afraid. They don’t bite
    ————————————–
    Bill Clinton. Nuff-said.

  31. Bill Clinton. Nuff-said.
    ——-
    That doesn’t make any sense. Clinton wasn’t scared of women, he was just scared they’d tell his wife.

  32. My biggest fear with weed is that I’ll grow breasts, so I keep a training bra stashed in the dresser just in case. The one thing I’d never use is HGH because breasts are one thing, but a head the size of Peyton Manning’s is quite another.

  33. johnny07022 says:
    Mar 26, 2017 3:39 PM
    tonebones says:
    ,but advocates for big government control are everywhere. Often times, believe it or not, they’re from people who consider themselves conservatives

    Hey bone head – look up Libertarian, they are very Conservative and also the majority of Conservatives believe in the legalization of Pot, you just watch way too much CNN
    ————————————————————

    Yeah, no one can say Conservatives aren’t ahead of their time. One day (in a hundred years from now) they’ll probably even embrace science and, god forbid, reproductive health care.

  34. Alright, he smokes weed. Some idiots think it’ll turn you into a crash test dummy. Others think it’ll cure cancer. I think it’s your own choice and as long as you do it where I’m not forced to smell it then it’s your choice. Is there a reason I should care any more that?

  35. Newsflash: many (most?) NFL players already use marijuana, they just know when to get it out of their system for the testing. So stupid that it’s banned. both in society or the NFL. No one has ever died from pot use, compare that with millions from alcohol or opioids. And no I don’t indulge, myself.

  36. breadmeatcheese says:
    Mar 26, 2017 7:30 PM

    and he vehemently supports what joe paterno did for larry sandusky.

    —————————————-
    Next statement from Franco:

    “And I especially feel no pain for the children abused at Penn State as trustee Anthony Lubrano and I will continue our fight to restore Joe Paterno’s legacy and the ‘football is everything’ culture.”

    This guy is sick.

  37. joeychittwood says:
    Mar 26, 2017 2:01 PM
    I” to lazy to type the whole link but just go to drugabuse.gov and you can find tons of stuff on the long term affects of marijuana use……… and SHOCKING…… its not good for you
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    They still showing Reefer Madness?

  38. As for the people who are trying to tie Franco to the Sandusky crime, you are full of crap. The ENTIRE Penn State University chose to honor the 50th anniversary of Paterno’s first game and Franco was part of that ceremony. Do you hold the same animosity for the Pope? If not, why not? Remember, what goes around comes around.

  39. Don’t know about the “I will” part…you can’t convince me he hasn’t been using it all this time.

  40. bannedfromchoirpractice says:
    Mar 26, 2017 11:28 PM

    As for the people who are trying to tie Franco to the Sandusky crime, you are full of crap. The ENTIRE Penn State University chose to honor the 50th anniversary of Paterno’s first game and Franco was part of that ceremony. Do you hold the same animosity for the Pope? If not, why not? Remember, what goes around comes around.

    ———————————

    Obviously you don’t keep up with the news at PSU. No one is tying Franco to Sandusky. However, he has been leading the charge at the administration and trustee levels to remove all of Joe Pa’s sanctions and bad reputation – even returning the statue! This is not about the ENTIRE university – most at this point couldn’t care less about Joe Pa’s reputation. This is about Franco Harris and a small minority, which includes Jay Paterno, trying to absolve Joe Pa of any responsibility in Sandusky.

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