A 15-year career with six different teams took its toll on former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon. Diagnosed with early onset dementia, the 56-year-old deals with headaches and several other debilitating symptoms of the disease on a daily basis.
When the prescription painkillers became too much, McMahon turned to medical marijuana -- something he considers a "godsend."
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Well, I know medicinal marijuana has been a godsend for me. With my chronic pain, all my surgeries that I've had -- I've had arthritis -- it's getting me through the day. I would hope the governor (Bruce Rauner of Illinois) would get on board with this. It's helped so many people -- epileptics, cancer patients.
It definitely helps me every day. I use it every day, and it gets me through the day. I feel a heck of a lot better than I did when I had to take all those pain pills.
The Chicago Bears selected McMahon fifth overall in the 1982 NFL Draft. He made 61 of his 97 career starts with the Bears and guided them to a victory in Super Bowl XX. After seven seasons in Chicago, he became a journeyman with stops in San Diego, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Arizona and Green Bay.
McMahon's case could be an eye-opener for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and others who need a little convincing that medical marijuana should be considered an acceptable alternative to prescription painkillers in certain situations.