Around the globe, scientists seem to work overtime to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19), but former NFL offensive lineman Kyle Turley says something already exists to help combat the pandemic.
“That’s something cannabis has a way to address," Turley told USA TODAY Sports.
“The science behind this is real."
He says he's been smoking marijuana for about 20 years now and credits it with saving his life. According to Turley, cannabis boosts the immune system and “at a certain level it should resolve those viruses."
"What are we going to do here? Are we going to go into quarantine? Or are we going to live? And if you choose cannabis, I’m here to tell you that you’re going to live," he added.
Turley says it has cured him of vertigo, seizures, light sensitivity and numbness in the feet and uncontrollable rage. He moved back to Southern California with his family about five years ago, and says the evidence of his transformation can be found in his house.
“This is the first house I’ve ever lived in, where I’ve not broke a door off a hinge, put a hole in the wall, thrown dishes or plates and lost my mind," he said.
As a first-team All-Pro player in 2000, Turley worked in the NFL for nine seasons, including games with the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.
He blames his struggles and past diseases on CTE, a neurodegenerative disorder associated with repetitive head impacts, as well as the opioids prescribed by NFL team doctors for treating symptoms.
Several years ago Turley contemplated jumping out of the third story of his family’s house. But he decided to give up pharmaceuticals, instead, which include "psych meds.''
“At the end of the day, I trust God,’’ he said. “I begged for my life. When you’re addicted to opioids, you get to that point. And that’s not a fun place.’’
Turley said cannabis has also cured his wife, Stacey, of skin cancer. And he said the daily use of CBD — the extract of cannabis without THC, the psychoactive compound — have boosted the immune systems of his two children, ages 9 and 11.
“It’s resolved my daughter’s sleeping disorder, my son’s attention span, hers as well,’’ Turley said.
“And the doctors continue to tell us they’re the healthiest kids they’ve ever seen and they refuse to give them flu shots, refuse, because their immune systems are so strong."
At the suggestion of a teammate, Turley said he tried cannabis during his second NFL season in 1999.
“He knew I was struggling,’’ Turley said. “That was the first night that year that I got true sleep.’’
But until six years ago, Turley said, he relied mostly on pharmaceuticals to deal with his host of issues. The quest for an alternative solution led to regular trips to Las Vegas, where he found a preferred strain of cannabis.
Now he can stop by his own store to get his favorite cannabis, which Turley says he smokes every morning after a cup of coffee.
“Because I chose cannabis as an alternative and understand it the way I have, it saved my life. It kept my family together. I have my wife. I have my kids. I have an amazing business partner and an amazing shop to craft this conversation into the light and bring it to the people the way it deserves.’’
Turley is a part-owner of Shango, a cannabis dispensary about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.