By Josh Peter
With scientists around the world working overtime to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, former NFL offensive lineman Kyle Turley said something already exists to help combat the pandemic.
“That’s something cannabis has a way to address," Turley said, referring to what’s more commonly known as marijuana. “The science behind this is real."
Turley, who said he’s been smoking marijuana for 20 years and credits it with saving his life, said cannabis boosts the immune system and “at a certain level it should resolve those viruses.
"What are we going to do here?" he added. “Are we going to go into quarantine? Or are we going to live? And if you choose cannabis, I’m here to tell you that you’re going to live."
A Reuters story this past week addressed the issue of whether cannabis can impact coronavirus, specifically social media claims that it can kill the virus (there is no evidence of that). Reuters also referenced the American Lung Association position that smoking marijuana can damage the lungs and possibly affect immune systems and their ability to fight diseases.
The story does say that marijuana has proved beneficial in situations (against rare forms of epilepsy, nausea from cancer chemotherapy, issues associated with HIV/AIDs for example) though not the effects seen in coronavirus cases.
According to data from Johns Hopkins, more than 13,400 have died from coronavirus across the world as of Sunday morning.
Turley, 44, was standing in Shango, a cannabis dispensary about 60 miles east of Los Angeles in which Turley is part owner. He pulled out his phone and showed video of what he said were about 200 people lined up for the store’s grand opening March 13.
Turley, who played high school football in Moreno Valley and has moved back to the area, was instrumental in getting a license for the cannabis store, said Brandon Rexroad, Turley's business partner and a multi-state operator in the cannabis industry.