Franco Harris is joining to movement for medical marijuana.
While the Steelers legend is in good physical and mental health after a lengthyfootball career, he openly approves marijuana use for the days he doesn't feel so great and has become a strong advocate for current players to use the plant for medicine.
“Even during my playing days, I really didn’t have to do anything with pain management,” Harristold the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’ve never had any long-term pain. I’ve been pretty lucky all the way back to high school. I’m even more amazed that at 67 I’m not dealing with more issues.
“I will tell you this, if it ever comes to a point where I do need pain management, I’d feel very lucky and happy now that we have medicinal marijuana in Pennsylvania.”
While Harris doesn't think marijuana should be used recreationally by players, he does believe the NFL should takethe drug off its list of banned substances so players with prescriptions from their doctors can use it to control their pain.With 28 approved states hosting 20 of the league's 32 teams, Harris insists it's time for a change.
“The NFL is reviewing its position on medical marijuana,” Harris said. “They’re really reviewing their whole pain management regimen and how those things are handled, but if you don’t mind me giving you my personal feeling, I feel in any state that has approved medical marijuana, the league should remove medical marijuana from being a banned substance.I feel that recreational marijuana should be a banned substance in the NFL, but medical marijuana has a different composition.”
“Pain every day is not good, not a good quality of life, so pain management is very important. I know the league is starting to have more open discussion on this at this time. And I know what a big step for them. It’s not something they take lightly. I like that it’s open to discussion. I’m hoping that they realize that pain management is very important to current and past players and if past players are going to be involved with medical marijuana and that it’s legal, I don’t see why current players shouldn’t.”
The NFL is under fire forfrequently violatingfederal laws that govern how teamsshould store, track and distribute prescription painkillers, so Harris and other supporters of medical marijuana could soon find success in making the plant moreaccessible.