Professional football player Mike James, who was denied a request by the NFL to be able to use cannabis for pain instead of opioid pain medications, will speak at this month’s Cannabis World Congress and Buisness Exposition in New York.
James saw his petition for an exemption to the league’s ban on cannabis use turned down earlier this month by the NFL. The 27-year-old spent the entire 2017 season on the Detroit Lions’ injured reserve list after a concussion. He’s now a free agent.
“I am hopeful that I’ll be able to keep playing football,” James told NJ.com columnist Steve Politi for a column earlier this month. “It is a game that I love very dearly. I know right now I’m doing something that makes some people uncomfortable, and that I’m going against the establishment to push for a change in the way they look at this medicine. I know there’s a greater purpose here for a lot of guys in this league who I consider family members.”
James, a running back, has said he’s played in pain almost his whole professional career, starting with a broken ankle during his rookie season in 2013 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After filing for an exemption from the league’s marijuana rule, he told his story on a CNN documentary in which he said cannabis relieved his pain – and didn’t put him in a fog like opioids.
“I never had something where I could be coherent and still have pain relief,” he told CNN.
“We are the engine that drives this league,” James said in the NJ.com column. “If we can’t get onto the field with a less harmful medicine and we can’t live our life after football, how are we going to tell our kids to play this game?”
CWCBE announced that James will speak on Thursday, May 31. The conference, at New York’s Javits Center, runs May 30-June 2.
Feature Photo: Tampa Bay Buccaneers