DENVER (CBS4) –┬áThree former Denver Broncos running backs came together last week to support cannabis as an alternative for health management at the grand opening of a new Denver dispensary.

Reuben Droughns, Tatum Bell, and Lendale White signed autographs last week at the debut of The Joint at 4745 West 38th Avenue.

All three former players are pro-cannabis.

“I’m actually excited about this being a conversation,” said Droughns. “Cannabis can be so much better. It’s a lifesaver.”

Former Denver Broncos running backs Reuben Droughns (gray shirt) and Tatum Bell sign autographs at the grand opening of The Joint dispensary Thursday in Denver. (credit: The Joint)

“I know some of my former brothers (players) were hooked on opioids. That stuff can kill you,” he added.

Droughns, 41, played nine seasons for the Lions, Broncos, Browns and Giants. He rushed for more than 1,200 yards in the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

Running back Reuben Droughns of the Denver Broncos is tackled by the Carolina Panthers during the game at Invesco Field at Mile High on Oct. 10, 2004. (credit: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Since his retirement, he’s endured six surgeries to repair injuries to his neck, knee, toe, and other parts of his body.

“In my opinion, 75 to 80 percent of the guys, it would be better for them,” Droughns said of current football players. “A lot of the guys don’t want to be popping these pills and want to enjoy themselves. It’s not like it’s a performance-enhancing drug. You should give them the option.”

LenDale White of the Denver Broncos leaves the field during an NFL preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, on September 2, 2010 in Minneapolis. (credit: Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

White, 34, played for Denver South and Chatfield high school teams locally. Professionally, he spent four seasons with the Tennessee Titans before being traded to the Seahawks in 2010, but failed a drug test and was released. The Broncos picked him up, but White suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the last preseason game against Minnesota and missed the entire season. His career ended the following year.

The Denver Broncos drafted Tatum Bell out of Oklahoma State in 2004. (credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Bell, 38, played five seasons between the Broncos and Browns.

Droughns isn’t surprised the National Football League, and most other professional sports organizations, have not switched positions on the medical aspects of marijuana.

(credit: The Joint)

“Federally, it’s not there yet,” he said of the drug’s legality. “And it’s an image that I’m not sure they’re ready to take on yet.”

But for the athletes’ sake, he’s hopeful.

“Just the fact it’s in the conversation is a big feat.”

Former Denver Broncos running back Reuben Droughns shows off the Super Bowl ring he won as a member of the New York Giants in the last year of his NFL career. (credit: The Joint)

 

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