The rising din of voices coming out in favor of professional athletes using medical marijuana to treat their pain and injuries continued to grow this week from perhaps an unlikely source—a member of Congress.
Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer stood up for professional athletes, saying we should stop treating them like “second-class citizens” when it comes to using medical marijuana. As he told TMZ, almost two-thirds of Americans can legally access medical marijuana, and players should be extended that right as “it’s healthier for them” than prescription opioids.
“What we’re saying is that there are a number of professional athletes, professional basketball, football [players] who choose to deal with really the terrible pain of their profession using marijuana for medical purposes,” he said.
“It’s much less damaging than the opiods, the painkillers, the shots, the pills … and it’s time professional sports stops punishing them but works with them.”
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Blumenauer comments were spurred by a question regarding former NBA commissioner David Stern, who recently changed his stance on basketball players using medical marijuana. Throughout his time as commissioner Stern was a harsh marijuana critic but was convinced by former player and cannabis entrepreneur Al Harrington.
Blumenauer isn’t the only congressman favoring major cannabis reform. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has made marijuana a personal platform issue, introducing the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 a few months back, and it would be the biggest federal cannabis legislation in US history.