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Are Professional Sports the Next Marijuana Frontier?

 With Blake Griffin’s recent interview in Rolling Stone the growing discussion of medicinal marijuana as an alternative to prescription medications puts the topic of legalization at the top of the court.  

Many professional sports players are advocating for the use of medical marijuana as a therapeutic pain management tool that purportedly doesn’t carry the heavy addiction potential price tag of prescription medicine. The Fix highlights a range of NBA, NFL, and other respected and successful professional sports heroes and their support for medical marijuana in their leagues.

These athletes maintain that the risk of addiction when regularly using prescription painkillers is high.

That’s a fact that many addicts and their families can confirm. They question why they shouldn’t use this effective alternative that is often claimed to be non-addictive. In 2011, ESPN issued the results of a study that showed rampant pill abuse among players. Specifically, “52 percent of the retired players said they used prescription pain medication during their playing days. Of those, 71 percent said they misused the drugs then, and 15 percent of the misusers acknowledged misusing the medication within the past 30 days.

Would marijuana be exempt from this type of abuse?

There are also concerns that prescription pills are used to get a severely injured player back into a game or season without allowing for proper healing time. The solution is short-term, as they are able to play in the immediate sense, but earn long-term injuries that take them away from the sport into early retirement.

There’s no question than that pills are a professional problem. But is the answer medical marijuana? The natural remedy does not come without its concerns.

Although known to reduce chronic pain and anxiety, marijuana can also impair judgment, delay reaction time, and it has been demonstrated that daily use can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Pat Moore Foundation will continue to provide updates on the changes and developments on the courts and off about medical marijuana and its evolving role in our society.

Image: Pixabay