Former Football Players Advocate for Medical Marijuana Use

ABC News' Stevland Wilson interviews former football players Charlie Adams and Nate Jackson about their support for Charlotte's Web, a strain of cannabis used for a variety of medical purposes.
25:33 | 06/16/16

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Transcript for Former Football Players Advocate for Medical Marijuana Use
The second annual candidates like smoke he accidentally that Jacob Javits and in New York City a three day event dedicated to furthering the business of legalized candidates. In this country now joining me are two former NFL players get me Jackson who played for the San Cisco 49ers the Denver Broncos. And the Cleveland Browns like like this they just one day. 21 week one with the Cleveland Browns and Charlie Adams and waiting for the Denver Broncos and also Houston Texans so guys. First of all why are former players here today. Well I think this gives us an opportunity to speak our own personal truth you know in in the NFL it's all about. Protecting the shields shut up and play you know follow orders. And we we were kind of not forced to you but only options the Medicaid where with pills. And a lot of us found solace and found relief in campus and down around the league. We get the opportunity to talk about it I think it's just important kind of at the perspective to it and give these guys. That the choice to BO to medicate within an error. Basically the Charlie sort of choices do players don't have in the NFL that you guys want to educate the players about Napster out of unifil. Television it's pills best pills it's do the Mets did him in essence they're really. You know they're just needs the other options enormous and everybody needs to use and medical cannabis or even like that but the players that want to. Use it should be able to use that you know we live and frequency it's a something that has shown benefits medically you know mentally physically. And there's no reason that these guys and you do explicitly because these people die. People. Turning to alcohol and so many other things that they allow and even promote. You know it's just doesn't make sense to me that it's kind of fired up and angry that that I see close friends I see. You know friends of friends and family members that deal with this and and it's not necessary you know. This possibly injuries you guys assisting the Roger and felt career in the end you went through bull a litany of injuries or some injuries that is clear. I'll start for my feet. Plant to fast status of both the Achilles tendon and is broke my tibia in my left my left leg for my MC Kilmeny. Or drawings popped off the torn hamstring problem had surgery from answering back on my butt. Which was not very pleasant. Dislocated shoulder separated shoulders and then there's that. The constant repetitive head trauma that's endemic to the sport right. You play football you know I mean you'll talk about your head hurting you know talk about it's the start to get your bell around. There are no pain centers in the brain that we don't know what our brain injured it's a aside from the medical Canada's helping all these orthopedic issues. It's a marine issue to build and I mean I'm not a scientist but the studies are showing that. It can help the brain in advance of the brain injury and after brain injuries about the yields so there's no long list of things that can help earliest and most of the injuries he sustained as W league career Soviet injuries that you. Or both may CEOs. You know look you right now. In CO CO. Quote mis. Broken wrist and just you know it's constant complex and fluid it's just on the running. Editor of most you know. And several contestants but that admits that that's something that. Where's my position is coming out of network as if I can remember what I am doing did you stay in the game and you know there kids those animals. You know both the kind of things I'd go with it I don't see. A positive images look at a casino estimate by groups groups that didn't with an. You know big consumer during my playing days but as I got towards electorate did notice. Does it pregnant you know I I notice. Some modest positive effects from an inning and it helped me mad and continuing now into the retirement. That's the thing. So did you guys use candidacy will Wear one a when you play. I did yeah I mean I started in high school socially college I did it's kind of mix between social and pain management prospect of off. Started to get injured a little bit there but it wasn't itself. Go to meet the ball as the most important thing in my life it was never more or and then smoking's and we remain so I was very focused on. Offseason training camp I was not consuming a lot but after hours sustain a serious injury. It's three out of my six years in the league. I ended on injured reserve. So I broke my tibia and one of aunts or my groin and one of them from a -- in the other those require extensive rehab in a lot of cases surgery so is dealing with those injuries in the rehab. That's really started dabbling with the kind of recovery process of using that's up. And it really worked. I mean I I healed ahead of schedule. My my swelling was really minimal. My mind with sharp you know. One of the things about pills and it doesn't affect everyone the same way but one of the things about pills as for me it makes you sluggish he makes me down. Lack of motivation I don't believe in myself disable it you know and that to be excellent at something we gotta tell you gotta believe the you're the best. And for me candidates allowed me immensely. To still concede that I was the best that I still belonged on there on that field I was gonna heal fast I was going to be out there again and the mental process was really important. Let's back a little bit to sort of like giving people just have them understand what happens when you sustain an injury in the NFL. When an injury AFL. What's the protocol it's safer it's the Charlie's that you had several concussions. What's the protocol get a concussion on feel it their businesses and suspicion that you might have a question what happens. Now as did. Goodwin read it definitely guys when I played there. You would talk to the doctor and it it if you answered a few questions and you didn't look like this that you were going back in the game. You agree that yeah I mean are you or you would need to talk to the doctor at all or. Please keep it to yourself yeah you know if you're not living off the field sideways look sometimes you can tell in the gut and because he's run and impediments against. We're gonna side hill is something. If you're not doing that didn't think it's really was up to you. Who takes it to gauge whether or not you can get back on the field and I've. I've done both that bit cynical and plays out a couple of ways those little dizzy and Kansas State in the. Don't what what at that time when you guys played I know even sort sort of the case now when there was an injury you spoke to a team doctor. Would that be your knees shoulders hamstrings and questions what have you what would a doctor do you. The doctor. Assesses the injury Percy Telemar hurts and then. Right off the bat to give you a bottle of pills anti inflammatory pills. Run rampant in him that we talk about the Eagles alive with the anti inflammatory all right constant. Whatever you get hurt your being given a bottle these bills they are not I mean there are detrimental effects of those as well. The stomach lining my stomach letting it's gone from all those bills. I have read. Acid reflux issues because that no more stomach letting thoughts coming up. So anyway so the at the pills and then you have to come in for treatment every single day early stay late to get treatment on that specific injury if that's nature shoulder. Ice electric stimulation and these pills and you know range of motion massage therapy all that stuff. But they focused a lot of attention on that one injury they've blasted with attention to get you back LT. And a lot of times they're injecting. Needles into you as well but yet or it all which is a powerful anti inflammatory they give to people the day before game. Particularly pain and on game day but then there's spot injections cortisone and whatnot. You know so there's it's a kind of a reckless approach to healing the human body it's not about. You and your individual care it's about getting on the field to help. The team and I think even us in some cases. They wanted to make treatment and recovery aid problem was so you don't do so they've makes the governor of these two of these things. And it seems like a punishment leader hurt you don't know but it's there of course they would help build the economy. You don't you know whether it's in the brutal and religious you're shaking off an injury ended back to you please point out. That your coach Dick Cook why would you do with us from the doctor. Coach Rick let David Muir it will be jot notes due back in there and then met some some. You know some. Something that the doctors that units that now I gotta get this guy back out there is ultimately doctors work team. And there better answers live team not miss their player that's by the deeds be some kind of independent person that's not it by the league of it but. And what sort of what sort of warning. You get from team doctors about the pills that you're getting or even injection that you might get what wouldn't wouldn't doctors stately pace the from the giving these anti inflammatory. What. Don't use them X or don't use them why or don't used mainly because with the with the pills it's here's the bills take the ball you've got to make you take them all. With the injections it's a little different sort all. There'll be a line of us waiting to get our politics that four game is about poignantly when you say when you see airlines used airline if you guys explain a physical line of men. Waiting outside of a ballroom in a hotel to go in and get a needle put an. By a doctor who's holding the needle and saying. This has been known in some cases the cause internal bleeding but is mostly sick. You still won it and of course I'm waiting in line I want to play tomorrow. My my trainer suggested this is awaiting you know field another I don't play some else is going to instead of me in my position if he plays better idea. It's. So there's there's a lot of motivation July ignored. Your own pain ignore the sensors in your own body and those those needles are administered with very very little warning. That those I'll say there's not know. Kind. Warning or. No news letting you know with the effects don't think there was any we're calling candidates after game road trip. Doctors just walking up and down the aisles handing out. I don't want to sound like you know dramatic but that's what's happening doctor walks up Giles comes back dolls are Hewlett what do you mean you. Ambient by jobs. Celebrex yeah all of and its. You know you may or may not have had him. Steve by doctor sideline after the game you may have been is there aren't hurting and you did so it's there is no real regulations. And one of the most. Dangerous things that mixes paint pills and sleeping medication. And then why. Because it's just the deadly combination people die in their sleep but that's and that's what the unifil gives out they give out hate bills and they get out sleeping medications to their players. And now we got him vehemently that's our I was first introduced it and I know most of the players that's with a personalized. From a licensed team doctor. And infidels it's pretty dangerous way to treat kind of the whole big picture. And it felt body how many players would you guys the that you know. That aren't addicted to hope youth. It's art it's because people keep their access themselves don't. I. Similarly it's hard to say what percentage of players smoke. Candidacy puzzles are to say what guys are suffering from opulent addiction. There is an avenue to get your hands on those bills if you want him if you show today's forum. And you you can find him and if the doctors don't give you now there are doctors on the streets who wanna give NFL players what they you know it's so there was guys I've played. Who would have doctors on site that gets shipments of 500 bills and maybe pass that amount of playing him. Whoever needed element. You know some guys fall down into that trap the software threat the second annual candidacy exploded ticket Javits Center in New York City. To to to help promote this or further the business of legalized candidates still here in in this country what is the message that you guys hope to spread. Particularly to the NFL and two of the plea. It is. To get the word out there and by the looks of the incident ovitz a lot of support for bush. Marijuana is not the Bogeyman you know it's it's it's not worse than anything that. That's Bard's story alcohol thicker it's better than. It helps you it's healthy. What I wanna hope promoters. We need the real discussion about giving you beat so then he'd be an at Bellevue and HO made. And people will start to say it's not a legal and now we can look into this but it's it's illegal or insults to advertise. Nothing will move in my opinion you know you'll have anecdotal cases they're quite state. Where people can get help these kids can get help these these athletes or whoever. Soldiers return home however it is needs to have that's don't want him because people suffer unnecessarily. For a lot of reasons that that can you be needed. Moment which form would you say this be both helpful to players because. There are some players who might just wanted to smoke marijuana take to get high with doing that. There aren't doing already and and they're already on the move in the NFL also play you wanna remove. Marijuana from these guys live. The product would look different these guys are able to sustain repetitive head trauma. While using candidates as an herbal supplement let's study them and figure out if it's helping them play longer it's helping them stay healthier. No I think that a bill will realize that this is actually a good thing for that this could increase the longevity game he could prove they can cut down on health care costs. You know instead of taking all these bill elected to stick Warner. You can help that your players for life former players really what a lot of these guys want its health care for life. NFL players don't get that as it stands out you get five years of post career health care coverage you were taken in your hero. There is upon that's created for. Health reimbursement account for former players gets when he Bayh brand put in it for every year you play. But that even that runs out you know five to ten years later that so. I believe that you could provide candidates care for former players and really cut down health care costs in the pills that they take. That's on the Nevada felt that applicants. It's protecting the brains of football players there's no industry in the world. There has concussions more on their mind in the NFL. And if they believe that this could actually help alleviate concussions help mitigate their liability court. Fewer players would brain injuries are fewer players suing them or. These are all things that could benefit the inability if they were just think there eagle you know it's not a that they don't I don't know date there just kind of a little behind this I. That's notable social slows things in my opening note that they talk about its players' safety players it. If if they really kept right they've moved Vick the kickoffs though they've they've syndicate target individual these things but when it's real medical issues that. What both men out there at the little slowed anonymous man you know it's it's a little bit hypocritical. To. Say you're a player of player safety and then there's. Drugs that can help with that and you are just totally closed ought to McDonald's you know. Reconciled. Why do you guys being more players. Who are active in the NFL are free to speak out. Because that would have used in August got released spoke out. And just to clarify Eugene Monroe was office of tackle for the Baltimore Ravens who been speaking out an advocate for marijuana use in the NFL. Recently he's been he's been released from the Baltimore Ravens. Yes today quite possibly let's see if he gets picked up. By now the team so you're saying. They're big they comments to do in the statement that his absence for medical marijuana. Played in some role in him being released. You know and he's been in this these kids that have epilepsy and you know dolphins are talking about. So you know in the news moment to look at the start I hope you. In the new release that it you know that's by the Roberts say that mobs say that and one body won't listen they won't listen methods to other guys shut out. All mind. It and don't do it to do and I just think that hurts that the costs. Nate if you could explain to us what's the current NFL policy. For marijuana use what happened. Well it is fertilized in the system so if you test positive for it. There's there's only one test per year for street drugs what they call. And if you test positive for marijuana or anything yet put in a substance abuse program where you get tested two to three times a week ten times or more per month. For shooters three years before you clear the system with the clean tests all the way it's so you get put in this kind of punitive. System and it's not just to be test positive for marijuana that domestic dispute begins July test positive for our all our Federer and alcohol when your program. You'll goods and you know it's just so he's he's been suspended. It may or may not be for marijuana it made it maybe they may be in the program marijuana or some other drug court system performance enhancing drug. And they roll out of bed and got knocked on the Nordson in the morning. And they may have Al homeless you'll go to of this investment in bonds so it what's your and that program it is all encompassing drug test. Weekly couple times him. So you guys hopefully to get album points on it for the Denver Broncos a what percentage of you're better think. That both you know it to its own this the truth objective. What does that is the players and at Denver bronco team that you guys plea on would you state smoke marijuana while they were acting. What's its artist it's similar to the pills that you know a lot of people just keep kept to themselves. The guys two guys who smoke didn't always work together it's that Spielberg for God's word goes to present at the solid number you know a lot of guys. It's a baby won't you simply because it's it's guys. And once once. Don't click here brick walls that you save up about 50% of players. When you guys were on their teams smoked marijuana. How did you guys passed the test. Doucet to abstain a month before the test and the test isn't mini camp usually it's you know when you get back you start work now you stop. And for me it was never a problem it was it was football like I think that was the most important thing that's what I cared about its listen it was a hard for me not to smoke. It was during the season it was after I got heard it was when I was particularly broken down after we hear practice. That I would doubt find solace and it was not our meets. To abstain though but like Charlie saying it's not stop the guys get tested once a year ago the guys get put in that system. There are now under this crazy authoritarian umbrella and there's nothing you can do. To escape that. Not only if you test positive for alcohol let's say your phone was off and I don't get the call for four hours. That's a failed test as well it's about those in the media as he failed a drug test what you don't know the specifics of itself to bury this police state that the NFL kind of keeps focus on these guys punished punished punished you know and then make them repentance and I just think that's. It kills the individual pay kills the the ability to kind of treat yourself and it's speak out for yourself. Luther so. But though with a less. You because that we have a kind of want to read we refocus ourselves what are your mission is that we are here. The second annual Cannes this convention that particular depth and in New York City. And all. You guys to hear you speaking on a panel lead on this afternoon again what is the focus what is the method that you guys want to get out. So not only other players but the media and as the can of the NFL. I guess that I have here for me I'm here to help these children and I'm here to help. Players former players. In all sports you know. Try to help raise money in African American and because the believe and it. I'd know it works. Its science that says it works Baird. You know this is the number of U Politico and we're unnecessarily. People don't like taken not everybody let's take pills. They'd even other and odds I speak this idea politically divisive I stalked by doctors about this but are committed good points. You know Poland oh buicks poor. Or on any kind of payment that's doing well who do you look at saint David's cousin invited him twice babies doing really well the ones doing well you know people. Candidates are doing well and they're in there and they're making progress between this that's the best. Yeah I think this is for me it's just to empower people. To. Use it to be themselves to trust their Tiffany's you know football players are always thought. Your mind does not matter. Your ideas or thoughts we don't care what you think about this we need your body that we need you to do this thing on the field and for football players. We are human beings you know football players or people to do. And all walks of life can benefit from this and in football players are the NFL has a unique opportunity to spearhead. The research that's a really interest thinks that it's a really important issues not just came fills don't feel it's the brain trauma concussions you know. Veterans twenty veterans commit suicide every single day in this country. 41 Americans die from painful overdoses every day in this country. Those are lives that can be saved. From using marijuana as a medicine. It's worked for me I trust my activities now. And I think actors awful ballplayers to trust their own beliefs and and be able to voice. Brittany with sort of injuries or not even injuries and sort of paint you still feel the debate you've been retired now for how many years that there was privacy suits road you've been retired for how long now. About eight years. 78 years was sort of up post football team these two do with that is that there's a varieties that I just had surgery on my ankle in August. Last year to clean out a bunch of bones birds there's. You know map shortly Abrams any chip I have problems that are going to be there forever lower back charm the next. You know shoulder crap. That's just endemic to all football players everybody deals and you got to find a way to manage that in real life and the difference about you know. The playing and not playing is when you're playing. You have eight hours of attention on your body every day but medical professionals who are there to make sure you're all right so anything that you have going on they're gonna get it right. But out in the real world there's no one there for you there's no one bringing new Intel and you come here date we're gonna work out three hours on your elbow or whatever you're in your room for them. You gotta find something that works for you. And in my opinion marijuana is a really good supplement that process because it gets you back a touch with your body. Stay off of those bills and and you're able to kind of yet again again touchy to paint is painfully bored you know and got a real and the body. Charlie what message would you have for your younger self Baum who as a player. It was given up hope viewers even pills didn't give an ambient what message do you have for your younger self with the at least at you now have. I would definitely have my eyes open I would say you know those have their place and and you know. Read it and admit they have their place and I've used them and they benefited me in certain ways. But I would normally don't wizards work you're putting in your body. The doctor says that this boat okay well I will take that vilified look at it and say that you side effects are located in the Arctic that. I would just click the peasants and used vehicles but it goes on the would have taken. That were wrong and we should know that but we're trusting he's got the care they should care about. So we didn't pass right what's yet the right questions and know what you're doing and no wider. And what what would you like the NFL to do what we do I'd like to see the end of filled tube in regards to marijuana candidates. In the NFL stop punishing people testing positive for it and get behind some racers. Partner with some of these companies here. Talk to some actually leading scientists that are trying to place your own doctors inside citizens. Pointed studies that you want a certain outcome to come from. Open up your mind to let your ego go and extend the olive crest of players and try to provide a more kind of sensible Cogent healthcare system. Charlie how fear to do you think NFL has been in their reactions and marijuana. I mean it's it's it's a white black issue you know well it's it's not you. But it's there points this year they didn't come out I don't know the exact language they use maybe do but they are open to. Hearing about studies. I think bet with the line with the use but they're open to it now which is I think it's like aids giant leap forward. Because it bodes very slow to move them on things that I just think they need to be proactive. Put some money towards so they can study their players they should want this government doesn't want to have some of its outlets that they came. Help their players and their league. It took so again we're at the the second annual candidates convention here at the ticket Javits Center are Charlie Adams Nate Jackson the is also best selling author. All with their second book just about to come out yet second books coming out September it's called fantasy man. Buy it. Thank you guys so be sure to come it's mood in any kind of follow this cause. Encompassing Woodley and Charlie what they're up to that they continue to advocate forward in the fell to change. The air there on policy as it pertains to marijuana.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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