The NFL has used their tyrannical drug policy to suspend a player dealing with an incurable disease.
Buffalo Bills' right tackle Seantrel Henderson has been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Henderson's agent, Brian Fettner, told The Associated Press that his client has elected to not appeal the ruling, as his client tested positive for marijuana. Henderson has been using marijuana for medicinal purposes to relieve the effects of Crohn's disease.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease of which there is no cure. The 24-year old was diagnosed with the condition late last year, and has had two operations on his intestines this past offseason.
According to the United States National Library of Medicine, “A significant number of patients with IBD currently use marijuana. Most patients find it very helpful for symptom control, including patients with ulcerative colitis.”
About 1.4 million Americans are thought to have some form of IBD, and a range of anti-inflammatories and narcotic painkillers are often prescribed.
Treating and stopping inflammatory bowel disease with existing drugs is “currently one of the biggest challenges in the field of gastroenterology,” researchers note. In cell, animal and human trials a rock-solid case for cannabis as an alternative to pharmaceuticals can be made.
Medical cannabis is legal in some form in 35 states, as well as several countries.
The NFL found it prudent to not make an exception for a young man dealing with a lifelong illness.