T H E L AT E S T AN NFL CHAMPION IS CHANGING LIVES THROUGH CANNABIS An ex-NFL champion is standing up for cannabis by telling his story and educating football fans of the medicinal benefits of the plant.
BY BRIAN WROBLEWSKI Hillary “Hill” Butler is
a former NFL lineman who played for the Seattle Seahawks, has a Super Bowl Championship ring and is a cannabist purist who advocates in the Seattle area to Seahawks Fans and players around the NFL. Hill spent an hour with me to talk a little about his history with the NFL, his brush with the authorities and his new brand that may be hitting the Nevada dispensaries later this year. Brian: So the news said you
got caught with a significant amount of cannabis, in a duffel bag, crossing the Canadian Border. What happened and what kind of duffel bag was it?
Hill: It was about 10
years ago and I got caught transporting 140 pounds of cannabis. The duffel bag was a generic, army type canvas bag. It was big. You could fit a lot in that duffel bag. It is just a plant. Brian: If you had to
estimate how many current and former NFL players use cannabis as their medicine,
what would be your best guess? Hill: I would say about
75% of current players use cannabis for pain management, but they are still “in the closet” since the NFL is very strict about their policies. I think that once cannabis is legal everywhere, federally, the NFL will have to reclassify their stance on cannabis, but we are long way away from that. Brian: When did you start
to use cannabis and why?
Hill: My football career was
stricken with injuries. I had surgeries on both shoulders, both knees, and herniations. I have broken ribs and toes, have had almost all of my fingers broken, suffered concussions, and sustained back disc injuries. The doctors always gave me pills. The pills made me nauseous and I didn’t like how they made me feel. In 1995, I had a surgery and tried cannabis for the first time. I had instant pain relief and no nausea. Now I don’t take a single
pill. I only use cannabis as my medicine. For me, it is plants over pills. Brian: What is your
preferred method to take your medicine? Hill: It really depends on
my daily routine and what I have planned for the day, but normally I use a vape pen. Sometimes, I like to take a nice bong hit of one of my own strains. I used to be a big blunt roller and that will always be my second favorite way to consume my medicine, but I haven’t rolled a blunt in over 5 years. When I did, it was always Swisher Sweets and I would roll a nice one 3 times a day. *Laughing* I bet I can still roll with one hand while driving. Brian: Tell me about your
involvement with the 12th MAN.
Hill: The 12th MAN is every
Seattle Seahawks fan. It has become a way of life for people. There are lots of events specifically for the 12th MAN around the city and they always get a good
amount of fans together. Being a former player, I became a natural leader of the 12th MAN. I go around and snap pictures with the fans and I even coined a hashtag “#twelfies” that has made it around social media and even got featured on the local news stations. But I am just one of many fans. Brian: At these events,
do people ask you a lot of questions about cannabis? Hill: I get a lot of people
asking me questions. I don’t go out searching for people to talk to about cannabis, but if someone asks me, I try to ensure that I can give them as much education and the proper resources to help them decide if cannabis is right for them. If they are suffering from anxiety, pain, or stress I try to make sure I can point them in the right direction to get the right medical recommendation. Brian: Since Washington
is a legal state, is there smoking or vaping in the stadium?
Hill: As a former player, I
September 2016 Issue #24