Rounding up 30 NFL players to smoke some weed probably wouldn’t be that difficult an endeavor, and you’d likely get Snoop Dogg to show up.
But this time, it’s in the interest of science.
According to Abby Haglage of the Daily Beast, a group led by former Saints, Rams and Chiefs tackle Kyle Turley is providing 30 former players to test medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain and depression.
Turley started the group, the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, to raise awareness for the medical use of marijuana. Turley fears he has lingering brain issues, and admitted calling the league’s 24-hour support line after having suicidal thoughts.
“American Football is plagued with multiple ailments and diseases currently void of non-addictive treatments and cures,” says Turley. “The GCC is determined to resolve this impasse to allow layers and the public option of an organic treatment for injury and illness through Cannabis.”
The GCC has paired with a company called Constance Therapeutics, which provides extracts and oils from the whole plant. Those extracts will be given to the former players, who will self-report results.
“My experience with cannabis has taught me that it is a far better option than the pills that get shoved at players,” former Saints tight end Boo Williams said. “If I can save one life or improve one life with this study that GCC and Constance Therapeutics are doing, I will have accomplished my mission.”
At least one current player — Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe — has become an outspoken advocate for the exploration of medical marijuana as a treatment, but the league is sticking with its position against weed at the moment.