Herb Chambers, a former Browns linebacker who has been vocal about medical marijuana, is one of the most prominent athletes to support a ballot initiative to legalize the drug.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Herb Chambers is one the first to endorse a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana in the city.
The initiative is being backed by Chambers and a group of players.
The former Browns’ star was arrested in May for possessing marijuana and cocaine and has since pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug possession charge.
The case was a major embarrassment for former Browns coach Hue Jackson, who is still facing a probe into whether he allowed his team to violate team rules by using the substance.
Chenys former lawyer, Steve Bowers, has called Chambers a “legend” and “an inspiration” for the marijuana movement.
He said Chambers’ plea has helped put an end to a political crisis that could have been handled differently.
“It’s an enormous relief,” Bowers said.
“We all recognize that this is not going to be the end of the world.
We’re going to continue to move forward.
It’s going to get better and better.”
Chenz’s endorsement came a day after former Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer announced he would vote to legalize marijuana, an issue that has been divisive for many years.
Hoyer said he’s been listening to Chambers and other athletes’ arguments against marijuana legalization and that the two are working together to educate the public.
Cherise Campbell, a spokesperson for Chambers, told ESPN that Chambers and the group are in the process of reaching out to other NFL players.
“Herb has been a passionate advocate for marijuana reform in Ohio and we hope to continue working with him in his efforts,” Campbell said.
The Ohio Legislature legalized medical marijuana last year and approved a bill in the Ohio House last month that would allow doctors to prescribe it for certain conditions.
Coupled with a recent study that found that medical marijuana is safer than alcohol and the potential for it to be less addictive, Chambers has argued that the state needs to allow more patients to access it.
Bowers, the former Browns defensive coordinator who helped guide the team to the Super Bowl championship in 2016, has repeatedly spoken out against the drug, saying it is “dangerous and ineffective.”
In a recent op-ed for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he wrote, “The American people need to be informed that marijuana is not as dangerous as some claim.
There is no evidence that marijuana use is related to increased risk of death or injury.”
A petition to legalize medical pot in Ohio has already collected more than 3 million signatures and is set to reach its 20,000 mark on Wednesday.
It would be a challenge for any ballot initiative.