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Ex-Broncos' Randy Gregory Sues NFL For Blocking Prescribed Medical Cannabis Treatment & Fining Him Over $532K

Patricio Liddle
June 07, 2024

Former Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gregory filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the team on Wednesday for preventing him from using prescribed synthetic cannabis. Gregory, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, says he was fined $532,000 from his salary for testing positive for Dronabinol, an FDA-approved drug containing THC.

NFL Denies Gregory’s Cannabis Exemption

Gregory, who has numerous football injuries and has been diagnosed with PTSD and social anxiety disorder, was prescribed Dronabinol by his doctor, according to Courthouse News Service. However, the NFL rejected his request for a therapeutic use exemption and penalized him with a fine. 

Represented by Denver attorney Spencer Kontnik of Kontnik Cohen, Gregory stated he used the medication to "focus and perform in stressful and high-pressure situations, study the playbook and film, interact with coaches and teammates and engage with the media."

Interested in the latest developments in professional sports and cannabis policy? Hear directly from top experts at the Benzinga Cannabis Market Spotlight event in New Jersey on June 17th. Get your tickets now before prices surge by following this link.

Gregory Fined, Forced To Keep Playing

Despite the league’s stance of docking players' pay for THC-positive drug tests, Gregory was required to continue playing and fulfilling all professional obligations while being fined. "The NFL and the Broncos profited from Mr. Gregory's continued employment," asserted the complaint. He now seeks damages, alleging violations of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.

NFL’s Cannabis Policy: Evolution And Challenges

This legal battle reflects the growing discussions around the NFL’s drug policies. The league’s stance has seen incremental changes, particularly with the recent research into CBD for pain management and concussion protocols. Nevertheless, Gregory’s case illustrates the hurdles players still face when it comes to cannabis use.

Ricky Williams Exposes NFL Hypocrisy Around Cannabis

Meanwhile, NFL legend Ricky Williams, known for his transition from pro football to a vocal advocate for cannabis, commented on the apparent inconsistencies within the league. In a recent interview on Benzinga's Cannabis Insider podcast, Williams shared insights from his own experiences. "Half of our coaches were smoking, but it was this weird world where they're allowed to because they don't get tested, but we're not supposed to because we get tested," he said.

This stark contradiction highlights the ongoing challenges players face, as exemplified by Gregory’s case, underscoring a systemic issue of stigma and punitive measures against players, despite a broader shift towards acceptance and understanding of cannabis use.

Read also: NFL Players Arrested For Cannabis Possession In Kansas As Biden Reiterates No One Should Be In Jail For Marijuana

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