Kyle Turley was one of the best offensive linemen of his generation. Unfortunately, football almost killed him.
Turley suffered from numerous neurological problems after retiring in 2007, including migraines, memory loss, vertigo and PTSD. But all of that is behind him.
He moved to California and found medical marijuana.
“I came here with a purpose – to find the answer,” Turley said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I knew that there was something there. That’s what I found, thank God. My life was at its end, and I chose to trust in one thing that I knew was always there for me. You say you’re sober, but what are you taking right now? The doctors likely have prescribed you some medicines, and even if you’re not taking their medicines, you’re likely taking Aspirins, Aleve or Advil or any of these other things that are going on with you that cannabis has an answer for. For me personally, this has been a life-changing experience and it is for millions of Americans, and it’s time we put it to bed.”
Pain medication – pills – destroyed Turley’s life. Marijuana changed that.
“It allows me to cope with all of this pain, all of this disruption that’s gone on inside my body due to all the neurological damage,” he said. “We have to be honest with ourselves with what these sports and injuries and accidents in daily lives of everyday Americans are causing to us when we hit our heads. Finding strains that don’t make you think about suicide anymore and allow you to not have any more of these outbursts and rage episodes that completely terrify everyone around you and keep you from doing things and living normal life – I couldn’t go to McDonald’s anymore with my kids and watch them at the playground. I would just rage on parents who weren’t paying attention to their kids. Kids are being kids, and I just couldn’t stand those types of thing anywhere in public. It was potential for me to erupt.”
These days, though, Turley, 41, is happy. He’s calm. He can be around his friends and family, and they can be around him.
“It’s a sobering experience,” Turley said. “When you hit the bottom and then you find something that helps you get back out – there’s no feeling like it. To know that I’ve given some comfort to my wife – my wife knows I have something. She was watching me go through this problem of going through this medication, that medication. It was just a cycle that was killing me and killing my family as well for the last 15 years. To be able to make those marks from where I was just a few years ago, it’s priceless.”
Turley, who has seen other former football players turn to medical marijuana, wants the NFL to allow current players to take advantage of this treatment method.
“That’s the truth of this,” he said. “If we can get to the science of it and allow science to study this, we will expose what the government knows about this. Football and head injuries, I deal with this in every aspect of this. I know so many horrible, horrible things about what this disease does to not only our football community, but America. There’s 22 soldiers a day killing themselves, and to all accounts, that is a very conservative estimate. We have something that veterans, football players, general public people are finding that is saving lives, stopping people from killing themselves. There is no doubt in my mind that Junior Seau would be here today, that potentially Kevin Turner and my friend Steve Gleason, who is on his way, wouldn’t have to deal with these diseases they we have if we implement the science behind cannabis and allow this to be studied. Our government and the DEA is keeping this from us. They have an ill-intent to suppress us for some reason with our health and try to control that through synthetic medications and I’m sick and tired of it. It almost killed me and ruined my family. I shouldn’t be where I am today. I should be in a van down by the river. Just like Mike Webster in the movie Concussion, I was heading down that road. I got all these things back in my life but I wasn’t seeing them. I saw darkness every day.”