A group of retried football players are trying to setup a medical marijuana dispensary in Cleveland Ohio, including Eric Metcalf and Ted Ginn Sr. Medical marijuana has properties that many professional athletes believe could help with the aches and pains of their professions and reduce the amount of opiate based painkillers they are prescribed.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three big names in Cleveland football are eyeing multiple sites in the Cleveland area for a medical marijuana dispensary.
Ted Ginn Sr., long-time football and track coach at Glenville High School, former Ohio State University quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and former Cleveland Brown Eric Metcalf have their sights set on one of 60 dispensary licenses to be awarded later this year.
The three have partnered with Jim Buchanan, a Seattle recreational marijuana store owner who used to live in Cleveland, and were in Columbus on Tuesday to comment on draft regulations for dispensaries.
The group announced their interest in a South Euclid location in May. They said Tuesday they’re also looking at sites in Cleveland, Warrensville Heights and Lakewood.
Smith said his own head trauma from years of playing football led him to look into medical marijuana and to pursue a business. Smith said he’s only now beginning to understand how banging his head against other players has affected his daily life.
“Sports is a great thing to watch when you’re snacking on chicken wings, but it’s dead serious. We need to pay more attention to it and be more delicate,” Smith said, adding that he is certain medical marijuana can be helpful to people with brain injuries.
Ohio’s medical marijuana allows people with one of 21 medical conditions to buy and use marijuana if recommended by a physician. The condition list includes spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, severe and chronic pain and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which can only currently be diagnosed after death.
Ginn, who coached Smith at Glenville, has had another qualifying condition — cancer. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012, underwent surgery and outlived the odds of survival.
Ginn said he sees a dispensary as a way to serve the community, both in alleviating medical conditions and providing jobs. Ginn said the dispensary would also help educate people about the medical benefits of marijuana.
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