Archive for August, 2014


The NFL and THC


The NFL’s recent debates and debacles involving lawsuits thrown against them from previous players in the league has led them to be somewhat open to the idea of investigating the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Charges have been leveled against the league as to the long term effects many players faced being prescribed high octane pain pills to fight off the suffering from concussions and other game related injuries. In the last few decades the league has also encountered an ever increasing usage of HGH (human growth hormones) and steroids to give players the edge they need to compete in this challenging game. They have yet to come up with a solution to the dilemma of pain and suffering experienced by pro athletes; after decades of reported problems from past players and a continuing protest from recent ones the League heads know they have to open the door to possible alternatives to the way the game will be played….and I don’t mean the game on the field. The recent season long suspension of Browns receiver Josh Gordon for multiple violations of the NFL substance abuse policy when put in contrast to the two game slap on the wrist Ray Rice received for domestic violence shows a fucked up priority within the league. The NFL treats those that give so much of their physical and mental status to amuse the spectators who watch them close guarded care, until they are no longer of use to the game. Then you can see a line of men who have been beaten and bruised and kicked to the curb.
A Gallop poll last year found fifty eight percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized – something that’s already happened in Colorado and Washington and if you look closely, you’ll notice the streets there aren’t running red with blood. Hysteria and carnage doesn’t rein there and lest we forget, those two states teams went on to play in the Super Bowl last year. The interesting take on this report coming from the gridiron is the willingness they seem to be slowly walking toward with respect to allowing players to use pot to relieve pain. Traditionally the NFL has not been in the field of scientific research but with the huge weight of lawsuits involving concussions and painkillers being thrown at them, the league must look to alternate answers to fight this problem. Harvard Medical School professor Lester Grinspoon published an open letter to Goodell urging him to fund a crash research project for a marijuana-based drug that can alleviate the suffering from concussions. More and more players openly admit using pot during the season as opposed to taking the pain meds trainers suggest.
Personally I find the most interesting take on this report from the Associated Press to be the ramifications of how this might change the course of our society’s take on weed. I doubt it will influence the way our PeeWee leagues go play ball – the performance enhanced drugs don’t hit the table until college rolls around….that’s when it all goes pro. I believe the interesting take on all this could be that if the NFL allows their players to use pot to relieve pain and suffering, then perhaps the rest of the scientific community will be allowed to do real research on marijuana and see what practical purposes it can serve. Big claims have been made recently as to how miraculous cannabis oil has been treating a variety of ailments but because the plant has been classified as a felonious substance, serious research has been thwarted.


Rest in Peace Mr. Williams


The great comic, actor and legendary performer, Robin Williams has left us and the world now mourns the loss of a remarkable individual. Many were shocked but not surprised that he took his own life because it was well reported that Williams suffered from bouts of severe depression. His back and forth admittance for treatment of depression and substance abuse was even claimed publicly by himself on talk shows and he seemed to take it in stride and not hide from embarrassment. He named it and he claimed it but in the end he lost the battle with his personal demons and now he has taken his own life. I hope that wherever you are now, you demons have been quelled; rest in peace Mr. Williams.
So what can we take away from this tragedy? Certainly the most obvious lesson we see is severe depression can and does affect people no matter how rich, successful or well off they may appear to us. Depression doesn’t only knock at the door of the poor or those with I’ll health; depression was right there in the room with a man whose success reigned on stage and film, adored by millions. All his money, all his fame, all the kindness and generosity he poured out into the world couldn’t save him from self destruction.
Some say that suicide is a coward’s way out….I have to disagree. Williams was no coward. Hemmingway was no coward, neither was Thompson. Some people are born to wrestle with life at a more abstract vantage than others and when you add that monster known as depression into the mix, life itself can be a cyclical bout walking an existence of pure Hell on earth. Stop and try to imagine for a moment, a frame of mind so unsettled that you are willing to give up this precious gift of living because the anguish is too great to bear. A lot of us will be more understanding of an individual in chronic, severe physical pain wanting to end it all but when it comes to mental or emotional suffering we are more apt to feel this can be endured….not necessarily true people.
So what can be done to thwart this beast that causes people such emotional lows? I’m no clinical psychologist folks, but I do suffer from bouts of severe depression and I can tell you what helps keep the gun out of my mouth:
Don’t take people for granted. Let your friends and loved ones know that you appreciate them and enjoy their company-express that friendship. Don’t assume that they know you think they’re all right just because you go hang out together every weekend. You could make a big difference that one particular day when someone feels depression setting in just by telling them you think they’re a great person.
Don’t just text people you know or chat with them from your computer-go see the real deal. We all get lost in the age of technology because it speeds up our communication but we lose the human closeness with one another if that’s all we do. This will make periods of depression even more disparaging for someone who suffers.
Those who suffer; when you feel bouts coming on, start a log or journal and course the period of time when it hits you and when it leaves. Once you start charting your depression you’ll be more convinced that it is cyclical and will go away. It becomes more apparent to you that the dread will go away.
Last I would say that there is no perfect system. People will slip through the cracks and in spite of all our efforts, some people will take their own lives. Cherish those you know because tomorrow they could be gone and once they’re gone, they don’t come back. The only way Robin Williams is coming back is via recording and most of the people you know don’t have taped HBO specials….cherish them and let them know you cherish them….perhaps they’ll stay a little longer knowing someone wants them around.

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