National Media Challenges Professional and Amateur Sports over Its Ban on Marijuana

“The NFL Should Be Investing In Marijuana Research If It Wants To Survive”

“Football Still Doesn’t Get Marijuana”

Two headlines on the national stage in the span of a few days are calling out the NFL and NCAA over its ban on Marijuana.

The first, written by sports industry executive Jason Belzer for Forbes.com notes that “the greatest existential threat to the NFL – if not to the existence of football itself – still remains Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE.”

Belzer, who is founder of GAME, Inc. and a Professor of Organizational Behavior and Sports Law at Rutgers University, writes: “While it remains to be seen whether Junior Seau’s death was preventable, his suffering from CTE might have been eased by chemicals found in marijuana.

“Last year, Harvard Medical School Professor Dr. Lester Grinspoon called attention to a neuro-protective agent that has the potential to render concussions obsolete – Marijuana. According to Grinspoon, a National Institute of Health study from 1998 revealed the neuro-protective qualities of Marijuana’s two main psycho-active ingredients, Cannabidiol and Delta-9 Tetrahudrocannabidol (THC). In 2008, a similar study in Spain revealed that the THC-receptors in the brain are involved in the healing process upon sustaining brain injury. Most recently, the National Institute of Health showed that THC significantly decreases the death rate of patients with physically sustained brain trauma. In 2013, a team of researchers in Brazil were able to prove that Cannabidiol has the ability to regenerate brain cells in mice. The study specifically showed a capacity to promote the growth of brain cells in the areas of the brain attributed to depression, anxiety, and chronic stress—the symptoms of CTE.

For the full story, go here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbelzer/2015/10/18/the-nfl-should-be-investing-in-marijuana-if-it-wants-to-survive/

BUT before you do, check out some of the provocative prose of national sports columnist Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel in the other article:

“Why do sports policymakers and American lawmakers suspend athletes and arrest citizens for a substance that is no more harmful than a Bud Light or a Scotch and soda?” writes Bianchi. “Sadly, we are in the midst of modern-day prohibition in which we are disgracing and criminalizing decent, hard-working people — doctors, lawyers and football players — and stigmatizing them as ‘lawbreakers’ or ‘substance abusers.'”

Bianchi goes on to take the “ultraconservatives who characterize the proliferation of marijuana in sports as an ‘epidemic.’

“Is there anything more laughable than old, white guys getting sauced on vodka martinis and lamenting young, black athletes smoking marijuana?

Bianchi wasn’t done:

“How is it that the NFL can profit from two vices — drinking and gambling — that are responsible for thousands upon thousands of destroyed lives and wrecked families, but then suspends Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon for an entire season because he likes to smoke a little pot?”

For that story, visit: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/football/marijuana/os-football-marijuana-mike-bianchi-1021-20151020-column.html

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