Colorado State University running back Treyous Jarrells, 23, has come out about his real reasons for leaving the football team. Jarrells, a celebrated athlete at the school, averaging 5.2 yards per carry as a running back in his sophomore year, left the team out of fear that he would be drug tested and lose his scholarship for treating his chronic pain with marijuana. Despite playing in a state where marijuana is legal and people can obtain a marijuana license to grow their own weed for personal use, marijuana is not accepted as a form of medicinal treatment for athletes by the NCAA and is in conflict with the school’s policies regarding drug use for athletes. Jarrells, who used marijuana 10 out of the 11 games he’d played, was close to graduating and feared losing his financial aid if he was tested or came clean about his medical marijuana use.
Opioids vs. Medical Marijuana
The only medications that the NCAA authorize their athletes to use are the over the counter pain killers that have severely detrimental side effects, causing intestinal bleeding and liver failure over long term use. They also authorize opioids like hydrocodone (including Vicodin) which are known to be extremely addictive and often lead to overdoses and death. In fact, tens of thousands of people die annually from prescription opioid use. Often these drugs don’t treat the pain completely and athletes use more and more until the terrible side effects occur. Opioid addiction ruins people’s lives, leaving them unable to think straight, depriving them of energy, leading to severely painful withdrawals and, at times, accidental death from overuse.
A Difficult Choice Born From Archaic Scheduling
Prescription opioids are considered a Schedule II drug with high medicinal purposes yet marijuana, which has never caused a death and has no detrimental effects on the body from long term or short term use, is still considered a Schedule I drug. This puts it in the category of being the highest risk drug with no medicinal value. This has been the reason that the NCAA and school organizations have banned it for players leading athletes like Treyous Jarrells to either choose pain and drug addiction or to withdraw from the game.
In Good Company
Jarrells is not alone in his urging for the NCAA to reconsider the issue. An ever growing number of current and former NFL players have been speaking out about this issue, demanding that the NFL reconsider its position on marijuana. The players include Jim McMahon, former quarterback for the Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans linebacker, Derrick Morgan, and former offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, Eugene Monroe.
Marijuana License Offers Potentially Bright Future
Jarrells said, “I practiced under the influence. I played games under the influence. This is my medicine. I’ve seen players at CSU pop 5, 10 Ibuprofens before practice. Daily. You think that’s good? Over the course of 2, 3 years, that’s eating your liver away.” The former football player now has a marijuana license to grow weed. After growing his own crop for some time he has now turned his marijuana license into a new business venture, making and selling sprays for helping marijuana plants to grow well, so that others can receive some of the benefits he experienced from the plant.