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'NFL Players Are 4 Times More Likely To Develop An Opioid Addiction,' Says Detroit Lion Mike James

Repealing the NFL's ban on medical marijuana isn't just about treating sports injuries - it's about saving the lives of athletes, according to Detroit Lion Mike James. 

“NFL players are 4 times more likely than the general population to develop an opioid addiction,” James told The Detroit Metro Times last week. “It’s time for change!”

That's the message he'll be sharing today at the 'Hash Bash Speaker Series' in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where James will speak out against the NFL's marijuana ban, which the running back says is endangering not only the lives of players but the league itself.

“There’s more than one reason that I’m compelled to speak out,” James added. “For me it’s just my truth, whether people love it or hate it. It’s about change. If we don’t change, football will be gone. My little cousin, my son wants to play football. … I want to make sure they have options and a responsible community of medical practices and culture. This is not just about medical marijuana, it’s about an irresponsible culture.”

Right now, most professional football players are treating concussions and other debilitating conditions with prescription painkillers that are highly addictive and potentially deadly. Meanwhile, the concussion crisis engulfing the NFL is damaging the sport's reputation, but medical marijuana could make professional football safer.

James will be joined on the Hash Bash panel by former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and four-time Stanley Cup champion Darren McCarty


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