Wanda James & Scott Durrah are some of the first African American marijuana dispensary owners based in Denver, Colorado. Durrah is a chef known for his healing meals and James a former corporate exec who served on President Obama’s team in 2008. In addition to dispensaries the couple also own a restaurant called “Jezebel’s Southern Bistro”. It may actually be the only restaurant in America that offers its staff a drink or a joint at the end of their shift.
The pair believe that cannabis can be used as a medicine for concussions – Mostly as an alternative mainly to the addictive opioid pain killers that are currently being prescribed.
With half the states in the country legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational purposes it won’t be long before cannabis is legal at the federal level. This election cycle (2016) voters in Florida will vote on medical marijuana measures. Meanwhile in California, Massachusetts and three other states proposals to legalize recreational marijuana are on the table.
Colorado has already seen a blossoming industry around pot and most experts believe that once Federal legalization becomes apparent, much more money for research and investment will pour into the local and national economies.
Mr. Durrah never prepared cannabis infused meals for athletes, but has for hospice patients and people suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, concussions & other ailments. He believes that the plant has valid healing properties and can be used to treat concussions in NFL players. He’s not alone in this sentiment.
Durrah now believes it is necessary to lobby the NFL to accept marijuana as a concussion treatment. “I have seen what it can do,” he says. “The number one concern in the NFL right now is pain, whether it is from concussions or joint injuries. Look at the number of players who have gotten hooked on painkillers simply because they want to hold on to their jobs. Pot is a great alternative.”
Most people close to the league admit that marijuana is already widely used among NFL players. So it’s a matter of mainstream acceptance of this reality before the league can publicly be lenient on issues surrounding a taboo drug like marijuana as a concussion treatment.
Another aspect of marijuana legalization that is less talked about is it’s effect on the current political climate and the “war on drugs.” Durrah’s partner James speaks about how her brother spent more than four years in a Texas prison for marijuana possession – A world of difference from the time she spent at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where students openly smoked pot on campus – with little to no repercussions from campus police.
The pair hopes that as public and political sentiment around the drug evolves so will the NFL’s stance on marijuana as a concussion treatment, only time will tell.