The admission of Dallas Cowboys defensive end David Irving that he has been 'using medical marijuana every game he has played' has been taken up by the movement in Texas to liberalize the state's increasingly outdated marijuana prohibition laws, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Irving posted the message on social media, and among those seeing it were Heather Fazio, who heads 'Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.'
"These stories are very compelling," she said. "Those stories of the cycle of pain and pills, and cannabis being able to offer them an exit from that cycle."
Groups pushing to normalize Texas' marijuana laws have gained steam in the interim between the 2017 and 2019 Legislative sessions. Texas is increasingly an outlier in marijuana policy, with eight states now legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, and thirty allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical use.
Fazio says Irving is not the only high profile professional athlete to speak out in support of the medical use of marijuana, and even the legalization of the recreational use of the drug.
"It is really compelling to hear these professional athletes to share their experience, and want to look and an alternative to dangerous and addictive drugs."
Irving said he would much rather smoke weed for pain than to take prescription medications, especially with the opioid overdose problem front and center in America.
Fazio says professional athletes are key role models in American society and their comments make a difference.
The key to whether marijuana normalization will come in Texas in 2019 rests on Greg Abbott.
The governor, who is widely expected to coast to re-election in November, has repeatedly said that a law approved in 2015, which legalizes the use of a certain type of THC-free cannabis oil for treatment of a certain type of seizure disorder was as far as he was willing to go to legalize marijuana use in Texas.