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Marijuana use amongst NFL players is nothing new. But while Aldon Smith enters rehab to save his NFL career and Josh Gordon prepares his comeback after being suspended for partaking in Mary Jane’s lovin‘, some former NFL players are trying to get to get the NFL to embrace marijuana’s medical benefits.

One of it’s biggest supporters is former Pro Bowl defensive end and Giant’s fan favorite player, Leonard Marshall.

Reports New York Daily News:

Marshall, diagnosed in 2013 with signs of the brain-eating disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), begins his days with a 500-milligram dose of CBD he takes with a dropper. The 54-year-old former football star — now an entrepreneur and Paramus Catholic’s defensive line coach — uses the vaporizer throughout the day to stave off crippling headaches and other ailments tied to traumatic brain injuries. It is a safe and effective alternative to the dangerously addictive painkillers passed around in NFL locker rooms like Skittles, he says. “The headaches, the migraine headaches, is what CBD has really affected big time,” Marshall says. “I won’t say the relief was immediate, but I would say from minutes to hours from usage, I could tell the difference.”

Marshall isn’t alone in this fight either.

“What I’m asking for is research,” says Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan, the only active NFL player publicly advocating for cannabis. “We play a violent game. The injury rate is 100%. The more options we have for our health the better.”

One of the main reasons that marijuana can be considered a life saver for its users is the fact that a compound known as cannabidiol (CBD) exclusively in the plant and has been known to have medicinal purposes.

The most ardent supporters of CBD suggest it can also help protect athletes from concussions and prevent CTE, the NFL industrial disease caused by repeated blows to the head. They point to the curious fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services holds a patent that suggests compounds in cannabis may limit damage from traumatic brain injuries.

Unfortunately the NFL is a business and like most businesses they’re all about the almighty dollar. While alcohol companies continue to pour dollars into advertising spots and marijuana supporters continue to fight for its complete legalization, we shouldn’t expect the NFL to do what’s best for its players but what’s best for business.

For now.

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