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Ex-NFL Players Rally Behind Medical Marijuana

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NFL players back medical marijuanaThirty ex-NFL players have teamed up with a cannabis company in California to test medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain and depression. The move comes in the wake of increasing reports on the physical and mental anguish retired football players face, including a potentially debilitating brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Is this the answer they’ve been looking for?

Leading the player side of the trial is Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, an organization founded by a former NFL star to spread awareness about the effectiveness of the drug. Longstanding marijuana extract maker Constance Therapeutics will provide the extracts and oils that players will use to treat their pain.

The “study” is an unprecedented attempt to circumvent the government’s tight grip on cannabis—one that those behind it hope will prove life changing for thousands of retired players in pain.

For NFL players—who withstand bone-breaking, muscle-tearing, and concussion-causing impact—chronic pain is somewhat inevitable. For the lucky ones, the pain subsides when they retire; for others, it’s a lifelong battle. According to a 2007 study published by the American College of Sports Medicine, nearly 50 percent of retired football players struggle with chronic pain.

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