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Would Medical Marijuana Be Your Choice of Treatment?

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted May 1, 2018

We’re currently in a no-man’s land when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. So many people are now realizing the benefits it can have on their health, but that still isn’t enough. Some people are advocating for it, while others are unsure how to categorize and regulate it.

The drug is still being scrutinized by organizations. And I think the biggest reason behind the hesitation of legalizing marijuana and incorporating it into businesses is that it’s all still new.

Only a few years ago, there were talks about legalizing marijuana, and then out of nowhere the fight to legalize it for medical purposes became a lot stronger. This caught a lot of people off guard.

Imagine Getting Hurt and Not Being Able to Support Your Family

One of the biggest organizations, the National Football League (NFL), is struggling to incorporate and accept marijuana as a medical option for some of its players.

Recently, NFL running back Mike James spoke out about how medical marijuana allowed him to choose an alternative medicine to opioids for managing his pain.

James injured his left ankle during a Monday Night Football game in 2013. He was prescribed opioid painkillers to help him with pain management. Opioids weren’t James’ medicine of choice, but he really didn’t have many options.

Being an NFL player holds a lot of pressure. It’s a competitive career, and once you get injured, it becomes even more stressful. The time you spend off the field will only hurt your career. Opioids act as a quick bandage for the pain so a player can get back on the field and start playing again.

However, there’s a fine line between pain management and addiction when it comes to opioids. And sometimes that line gets blurred without the patient even noticing.

While growing up, Mike James promised he wouldn’t become dependent on drugs. He was raised by a single mother, while his father was in and out of prison for drug-related offenses, according to records.

James said, “Drugs tore up my family. So I wanted to just play football, go to school, stay in my books, not get into any trouble.”

And it paid off. He went to the university of his dreams and got to play football. Then, three years later, James was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  

When he injured his ankle in 2013, doctors prescribed a cocktail of opioids for the pain. This prescription isn’t anything new, especially among professional athletes.

In 2011, a study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that more than half (52%) of former NFL players reported using opioids during their career. And 71% of those players reported misusing opioids.

James didn’t think he would become a statistic. He was being prescribed these pills by his doctors. Unfortunately, within the first few weeks of his injury, he became one of the 2.5 million Americans who struggle with opioid use disorder.

James’ wife suggested that he use marijuana to treat his pain and alleviate his dependence on pills.

It took some convincing for James to try marijuana for pain management, but in February 2014, he took the plunge.

He didn’t want to be addicted to opioids because he didn’t want that kind of life for his two sons. He described his experience with using marijuana by saying, “I felt like I was beginning a new life.”

Would Medical Marijuana Be Your Choice of Treatment?

Cannabis is banned in the NFL, which became problematic for James when he took a drug test as part of the NFL’s routine testing program. The test came back positive for marijuana, leading him to file for therapeutic use exemption for cannabis with the NFL.

Essentially, James was putting his career at risk by doing this.

Dr. Sue Sisley, a board member of the nonprofit Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, is helping James with his exemption application. She said:

This is the first active player who’s been willing to put their professional career on the line, to openly admit that they not only have been using this cannabis but need it to function at the highest level...

Mike’s case is such a perfect example of why cannabis needs to be made available, because he’s really not a candidate for opioids.

Medical marijuana can help people manage pain and allow them to live normal lives.

Last year a poll from Yahoo News/Marist Poll concluded that 69% of Americans approved of a professional athlete using marijuana for pain, and 67% believed using a doctor’s prescription for an opioid is a greater health risk than using a doctor’s prescription for marijuana.

Professional athletes like James work in a physically demanding environment, which takes a huge toll on their bodies. 

James is a professional athlete, but he’s just like you and me. He was a person who got injured and who wanted to live a pain-free and happy life, not to mention a life without addiction. This outlook isn’t limited to professional athletes...

We deserve to get the best treatment without the risk of addiction, which is why doctors are heavily advocating for the ability to prescribe medical cannabis to patients.

Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico have all approved some form of legalized marijuana. Many view medical cannabis as another option to help a wide variety of medical ailments that would otherwise have been treated with painkillers or left untreated altogether.

Medical marijuana continues to be approved by top universities, hospitals, and doctors. Without a doubt, it's going to disrupt the $635 billion pain industry. 

Educate yourself on the possibilities that medical cannabis will bring to investors worldwide. Click here for an exclusive presentation on one medical marijuana company and its breakthrough operation!

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia Signature Park Avenue Digest

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia is Wealth Daily’s IPO specialist. With passion and knowledge, she wants to open up the world of IPOs and their long-term potential to everyday investors. She does this through her newsletter IPO Authority, a one-stop resource for everything IPO. She also contributes regularly to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Monica, click here.

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