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Shaun Smith

An NFL running back says he needs one thing to continue his football career: Weed

An NFL running back says he needs one thing to continue his football career: Weed

Running back Mike James hurts all over. He experiences chronic pain every day, a natural byproduct of his chosen profession. Still, he is not yet ready to walk away from his NFL career and says he knows the key to continuing: marijuana.

James, an NFL free agent, applied for a marijuana therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) from the league this offseason, which he hoped would allow him to treat his pain without fear of violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The league denied his request last week, which James said jeopardizes his ability to sign with a team and continue his career.

"By them denying me a TUE, they're really giving me no other options to continue playing...

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