It’s no secret the NFL has a strict marijuana policy, but it’s costing one player his ability to live his everyday life without pain while still remaining on the field.
Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson has Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that’s extremely painful. Henderson had 2 1/2 feet of his gastrointestinal tract removed in January and uses medical marijuana to deal with the pain.
But the NFL doesn’t give out any therapeutic use exemptions for marijuana and handed Henderson a 10-game suspension Tuesday.
It’s a complicated issue because Henderson and his agent know he’s not allowed to use marijuana, but there’s nothing else he can take. He already was suspended four games for it this season. It’s a catch-22 that leaves Henderson either unemployed or in serious pain.
“He needs cannabis,” a source told NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday. “You can’t take pain killers with the way his intestines are.”
What’s more, medical marijuana is legal in New York.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that Roger Goodell and the NFL Players Association continues to punish players for using medical cannabis to treat severe pain and other state approved illnesses, while turning a blind eye to far more serious issues such as prescription drug addiction and domestic violence,” New Economy Consulting principal Sam Chapman told The Big Lead on Tuesday. “Players should be allowed to use medical cannabis in states that have legalized it, period.”
Players can get exemptions for other chronic illnesses like ADD/ADHD and are even cleared to take certain opioids for pain. Henderson appealed the suspension and hasn’t ruled out litigation to get himself back on the field.
Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images