Pigskin and pot: NFL considers pot for concussion treatment - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Pigskin and pot: NFL considers pot for concussion treatment

PHOENIX (CBS5) -
As the Valley gears up for the Super Bowl this weekend, people are buzzing that the two teams are from states that have legalized pot.
 
Now the NFL has come out and said it might allow players to toke up after a tough tackle.
 
Right now players are not allowed to use marijuana.

"I had four knee surgeries, torn biceps, countless finger injuries," said Michael Bankston. He played in the NFL for nearly 10 years, six of those for the Arizona Cardinals.
 
While he's lucky that he's not dealing with any emotional or cognitive issues, many of his colleagues are.

"Back in my time, all we had was smelling salt and keep it moving," Bankston said.

"You're dealing with high-profile athletes, Junior Seau, Dave Duerson that passed away," Bankston said.

Given the long-term damage associated with concussions, the NFL now said it would consider mixing pigskin with pot. 

Eric Johnson is with the Phoenix Cannabis Coalition and has had his medical marijuana card for three years now.

"I have these pains in my hands and my elbows and I use this rub, and within five minutes, the aching, the pulsating stops," Johnson said.

He said he believes marijuana is a safer alternative to opioids and other pain relievers and that research will prove pot can play an important position. 

"It masks the pain," Johnson said. "It doesn't take away 100 percent of the pain, but it masks it to the point where they could have a livable recovery from any injury they have."

"Don't say that's a cure-all," Bankston said. "I think we need to do more research, more education, and find and understand what we're dealing with."

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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