My name is Kyle Turley, and medical cannabis saved my life. I played eight seasons in the NFL and two seasons each with both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Saint Louis Rams. I have since moved to California, where I have safe, legal access to the medicine I need.
But Missouri remains a special place to me, and I know patients there deserve the same medical options I now enjoy. That is why I am writing you today in support of the New Approach Missouri medical cannabis initiative.
I was first given opioid painkillers in 1996 while still in college at San Diego State. In the NFL, narcotics were given out like candy to keep players like me on the field despite significant injuries, and I soon found myself hooked.
The pills numbed the pain, but they did nothing for the psychological problems brought on by repeated head trauma. In fact, the pharmaceuticals made it worse! I started experiencing bouts of depression, anxiety, and anger that I could not control. In 2009, my wife found me attempting to jump out of a three story window.
For years I struggled to find a way to control both my pain and neurological problems. Cannabis was what worked for me. It allowed me to live without both pain and the painkillers and start feeling positive about life again.
I began to research more about the science and policy of medical cannabis. For instance, I learned that states with medical cannabis laws experience a dramatic decline in opioid overdose deaths and that the federal government holds a patent on a cananbinoid that can be used as a neuro-protectant. Eventually, it all led me to found the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, which provides a space for football players who want to see cannabis recognized as a viable alternative to painkillers and psychiatric pharmaceuticals by both the government and the NFL.
And I know that there are tens of thousands of patients in Missouri right now, who are either unable to access medical cannabis or are treated as criminals for doing so. That is wrong, and the New Approach Missouri initiative will correct that injustice.
I hope you will join me in supporting this campaign by doing one or more of the following:
- Sign the Petition: Go to the map here to look for a signing location near you or check for an upcoming event where you can sign.
- Gather Signatures: Sign up for volunteer updates here or check the calendar for petitioner training events in your area.
- Make a Contribution: Go here to contribute $10, $25, $50, or more and provide the campaign with the resources needed to win.
I know from my years playing football that no matter how good an idea or plan is, it won’t work unless everyone comes together as a team and plays their part. But regardless of what particular role you play, I hope you will join the team that brings medical cannabis to Missouri by signing, volunteering, and contributing today!