First NFL Player Files for ‘Therapeutic Use Exemption’ for Medical Marijuana
Mike James started using marijuana as a way to get off of opioids he was prescribed.
During his on-field career, free agent running back Mike James hasn’t made much history as he’s only gained 351 yards on 83 carries and scored zero touchdowns over three NFL seasons.
Off the field, however, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Detroit Lion made history last month when he became the first NFL player to file for a “therapeutic use exemption” specifically for medical marijuana.
James began using medical marijuana in 2014 as a way to get off of the opioid painkillers he’d been prescribed and become dependent on after suffering an injury to his ankle the year before.
Last year, James tested positive for marijuana, which is banned by the NFL, eventually leading him to file for the therapeutic use exemption. Last week, the NFL denied his request.
With his career hanging in the balance, James has vowed he will fight to be allowed to use the substance that can keep him on the field.
“My career is at great risk. I’m not ashamed of it,” James said. “I’m not embarrassed about it. It is something that I will continue to use, because I have a life to live.”
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