Former star athletes vouch for cannabis use to manage pain

Ian Bush
May 01, 2018 - 4:55 pm
Riley Cote (left), Dozie Mbonu (center) and Todd Herremans (right) discuss cannabis use for pain management during CannabisLearn at the Convention Center.

Ian Bush | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — They reached the highest levels in sports and struggled with the injuries that go along with it. 

Now, a few former star athletes are making the case for cannabis as a safe and effective alternative to managing pain as opposed to prescription medications.

The NFL has strict punishments for players caught using pot, like Todd Herremans when he was with the Eagles.

"I had to do whatever I could to stay on the field and produce," he recalled.

He turned to what the league allowed: "opioids, sleeping pills, anti-inflammatories, and a lot of alcohol."

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But those took a toll of his body, further damaging it over two years.

"I just realized the hypocrisy in it," he added.

Herremans founded Athletes for CARE — along with former Flyer Riley Cote — a not-for-profit dedicated to supporting athletes after their careers in sports and also advocating for research and education of health issues facing athletes at large.

During the CannabisLearn conference at the Convention Center, they explained how sports leagues should lead the way by encouraging the medicinal and therapeutic use of marijuana and its extracts. 

"If you're looking at it from a sustainable pain management standpoint, cannabis is where it's at," Cote said. "If you're in the business of winning championships, you've got to protect your investment. We have a concussion, CTE, TBI crisis? These are solutions here, folks."