by Catherine Brinkman

Super Bowl ring winner Marv Washington is familiar with concussions.  From 1989 to 1999, Washington played as a defensive end for the NY Jets, San Francisco 49ers and ultimately won his Super Bowl ring playing for the Denver Broncos.  Based on his position and years played, Washington suffering concussions was just another day at the office.  He is very grateful for the fact that he does not have any signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Some of his fellow teammates and NFL colleagues were not so lucky.  They suffer from mood swings, violet angry outbursts, forgetfulness and some have diagnosed CTE.  The NFL is rushing to design helmets and other equipment to absorb the impact from direct hits and lessen the risk of CTE.  At the same time football players are putting their opioid medications down and turning to cannabis to ease their pain.   “No equipment or helmet design is going to stop those hits from happening.  CTE is going to be curing through science,” Washington stated with confidence.

Four and a half years ago Washington did not know about medical marijuana or CBD and it’s positive health affects.  He was at a fundraiser where he met two gentlemen that owned a cannabis company.  They explained the positive medication affects of CBD.  A few months later the triad met, and Washington agreed to serve as a spokesperson for the company.

Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli chemist, is best known for his work in the field of Cannabis

A quick study, Washington learned a lot about ways CBD aides the affects of concussions and lessens the risk of CTE.  “Israeli Dr. Raphael Mechoulam treats Israeli Defense Force soldiers suffering from head injuries with massive amounts of CBD right after their head trauma occurred.  He has been doing this for decades,” said Washington.

Dr. Mechoulam is a pioneer in cannabis research, studying and understanding the pharmacology of cannabinoids.  In his research he found that CBD, or Cannabidiol, did not have the same high affect as THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol.  The days of thinking of marijuana as rolled joint for hippies ended quickly.  Dr. Mechoulam has spent years researching the human body’s endocannabinoid systems and how CBD could be used to treat various ailments.

While Dr. Mechoulam is the Grandfather of cannabis research, Mr. Washington is going to be the Grandfather of getting marijuana deregulated as a Schedule 1 drug.

Washington gave a cautionary thought. “This industry is only six years old.  Do you see a lot of Wright Brother’s planes around today?  First one out of the box doesn’t mean you are going to be there in 10 years.  The athlete, actor or singer that makes marijuana acceptable to the Soccer Moms of middle America may still be in High School or even Jr. High.  People aren’t thinking about the big picture.  The fact that marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the Federal Government will always be a hammer over our head.”

Marijuana sits on a list with the tightest regulations and harshest legal penalties in the Federal Court system.  Other Schedule 1 drugs include Heroin, LSD and Bath Salts.  A few examples of drugs that are classified as a Schedule 2 include Adderall, Cocaine, Oxycodone and Fentanyl.  Washington knows that the industry will always be under scrutiny and at risk until marijuana is removed as a Schedule 1 drug.

Washington is suing US Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a result.

Washington is one of five plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against AG Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency.  He is joined by a disabled Army combat veteran that has severe PTSD and an 11-year-old boy that uses medical marijuana to control his epilepsy. Washington joined the suit because current legislation forbids him from applying for federal grants to start a business aiming to help professional athletes address chronic pain management.

Washington is a speaker on various cannabis roundtables and conferences.  In addition to getting cannabis deregulated as a Schedule 1, he is working to get more people of color into the business space.  “African Americans make up only 2% of the business population in the cannabis industry.  I want to educate people that they don’t have to touch or sell marijuana to be involved.  You can be a T-shirt designer.  There is great opportunity for people involved with branding and marketing.”

Washington has been going into African American communities and speaking with business organizations and churches.  “Our communities can heal from the legalization of marijuana.  There will be an end to mass incarceration and the breakup of families.  Look at Oakland, Los Angeles and Boston.  They have social equity programs in place.  None of the negative things they said would happen when marijuana was legalized did.  All of the positives things they said would happen did.”

Washington is striving to improve communities and make sure that the cannabis inventors of tomorrow have the means and are legally able to flourish.  #cannabismovement is a hashtag that he uses to address the fact, “until something is done at the federal level, we will never be like automotive or financial businesses.  We will just be another movement.”

Marv and fellow pro athlete who are pro cannabis will take part in a charity golf tournament and wellness day January 20th at the Starfire Golf Course in Scottsdale, Arizona.  You can find more information on the event at  You can follow Marv Washington as he continues to stand up for the cannabis community on Twitter and Instagram @mwash52 .

About the Writer

Catherine Brinkman’s sales career spans two decades.  As a former top producing sales executive with Dale Carnegie Training she generated her own leads.  Today she uses that experience to collaborate with marketing and sales teams to create marketing campaigns.  She specializes in market diversification, content writing and social media.  She also facilitates sales training/tutoring, partnering with companies to improve their sales process. She lives in NYC and can be found in Central Park with her two dogs, improving her sketch writing skills at UCB or hanging out with friends at Happy Hours.   Find her on Twitter @catbrinkman or email




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