Former NFL Player Sues Department of Justice to Decriminalize Marijuana

A group of plaintiffs including former NFL defensive end Marvin Washington have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration, asking them to decriminalize marijuana.

Marvin Washington (#97) when he was playing for the New York Jets).

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. Washington, who was a defensive end for the New York Jets, San Fransisco 49ers and Denver Broncos from 1989 to 1999, is joined by four other plaintiffs. They include Alexis Bortell, an 11-year-old whose family moved from Texas to Colorado so that she could receive medical cannabis as treatment for her epilepsy; Jagger Cotte, a 6-year-old from Georgia who uses medical cannabis to treat Leigh’s Disease; Jose Belen, a military veteran who uses marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder; and the Cannabis Cultural Association.

“The record makes clear that the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] doesn’t make any rational sense, and the Federal Government knows it,” says Michael Hiller, who is serving as the plaintiffs’ lead counsel for the case. “If the Federal Government doesn’t believe in the rationality of its own statute, it’s unconstitutional to enforce it.”

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Study Shows 87 of 91 Former NFL Players Have Rare Brain Disease; Could Cannabis Help?

football2By Derek Rosenfeld, Drug Policy Alliance

The NFL is back and I’m very excited about the upcoming season. But there is something that I have become more aware of recently that I can’t help but think about while watching the game – the issue of concussions, their effects on the brain, and how medical marijuana can help play a role in treating the problem.

There is a growing body of evidence that shows football players at any level, especially ones who repeatedly use their head to hit another player, can eventually develop a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The leading researchers studying the brains of deceased football players just released new figures showing they have found evidence of CTE in 87 out of 91 brains of former NFL players. The disease can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia. The powerful special produced by PBS’ Frontline, “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,” first opened my eyes to the gravity of the issue.

Read moreStudy Shows 87 of 91 Former NFL Players Have Rare Brain Disease; Could Cannabis Help?