Several former NFL players advocated the use of cannabis as a healing medicine Saturday during the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo in Phoenix.

A six-member panel consisted of four former NFL athletes — including Marvin Washington, Mark Restelli, Jim McMahon and Grant Mattos — discussed the benefits of the medical use of cannabis for athletes in the NFL alongside cannabis therapeutics specialist, Uma Dhanabalan, and former Colorado State University student-athlete, Treyous Jarrells.

Former New York Jet Marvin Washington said allowing the use of marijuana by athletes would help address major problems.

He identified the key health issues facing NFL players as concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that has been found in numerous former NFL players, along with opiates addiction to address pain.

Washington said that the use of marijuana could help address both.

“Put people first, it’s all about the patients,” Washington said. “They’re not trying to get high, they’re trying to feel better.”

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox (left) is greeted by Marvin Washington, a former NFL defensive end, during the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center on Oct. 14, 2017. (Photo: Cheryl Evans/The Republic)