Former NCAA Player Trey Jarrells Talks Quitting Football For Marijuana

If you deem yourself a real sports fan, then you must remember Treyous Jarrells from his time as a Colorado State running back—with a very promising future. However, it is more likely that you know him as the guy who traded football for weed, going out in a flare of media exposure and public criticism.

At the time, people assumed he was “just a pothead,” who preferred scoring ganja to scoring a touchdown. Nonetheless, there is much more to this interesting story of advocacy and standing up for one’s ideals.

Fortunately, I had the chance to chat with Trey at the Viridian Cannabis Investment Series, a super-serious business event focused on diversity, hosted by Viridian Capital Advisors at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Meet Trey

Former Colorado State running back Treyous Jarrells was poised for success: he was a black man getting a college education while thriving in collegiate football. Talk about “the land of opportunity” delivering on its promises for once!

But a promising future in sports came at a price—and a high one (no pun intended!). Endless hours of training and playing had him (as most other players) in constant pain.

“I just got tired of taking opioids and pain killer shots,” he declared, as he started telling his story. “During the whole course of my career, I utilized cannabis as my medicine. I played in games under the influence and practiced under the influence, and it helped me with my pain, my day-to-day pain, my mental anguish. Moreover, it helped protect me from two big problems that are widespread in collegiate sports and professional sports: CTE [chronic traumatic encephalopathy] and concussions.”

“Recent research has shown us that CBD and THC can help with concussions, it can help treat the condition, and it can slow down the CTE epidemic,” he added.


HIGH TIMES: Please tell us your story in more detail.

Treyous Jarrells: It was my senior year; I had just come off a knee surgery. It was a six-week recovery process, but I came back in the fourth week. That whole time I was playing, but I could just feel my knee wasn’t right. However, all they [university doctors] could offer me were opioid painkiller shots, and that’s not what I wanted.

Cannabis was—and still is—my medicine. So, instead of getting drug-tested and get kicked out of school, I wanted to keep studying and learning. I decided to walk away from the game [football] and advocate on campus, so that other guys in my position, who wanted to use a plant as a medicine, did not have to step down, stop their dreams.

So I stepped away, seeking to be that example for generations to come.

Unsurprisingly, after I released my story and told the world what I had done, the university wasn’t happy. Actually, the university [campus police] came to my house [40 miles off campus], kicked down my door, drawing assault rifles… in search of a helmet!

And this was an ordinary helmet, a similar helmet to the one my entire senior class got following their graduation. So I thought it was kind of ridiculous that a university would come at their kid over a helmet.

Of course, it wasn’t about the helmet. It was about the fact that I came out and told the world my story.


HT: So, how do you feel about the stigma of playing football after having smoked weed, the famous “playing high” issue?

TJ: Oh! Playing high! [insert fake outrage face/smiley here]

There’s a stigma behind playing high for people. I mean, just those words, “playing high,” they’re scandalized.

But, what people don’t understand is that athletes have been playing high since the 1900s—opioids, painkiller shots—they are playing high, as well, you know what I mean?

So, the only thing I wanted to tell the world is: I’m going to play high on organic medicine, an organically-grown plan. And that’s what I did.

And nobody should care, because it’s my body. So it was hard for me to understand why they cared to that magnitude, that led them to kick down my house’s door with assault rifles drawn. I could have lost my life that day.

HT: Did anything good come out of this experience?

TJ: While this whole thing blew my mind, it also motivated me to a whole other level, and that’s when my non-profit came: Motives.Made.Just.4.Athletes.

Our objective is to help former collegiate athletes get into the cannabis industry; we want to educate them on how cannabis can be beneficial as a medicine, we want to give them access to big research project opportunities, because it’s really important that we continue to show research on the plant and how it can benefit players for generations to come.

HT: I read you’ve become a grower. Is that correct?

TJ: Right now, I grow mainly for myself and to test my organic foliage spraying products—read all about them following this link. So, I grow and experiment with my products, to see how it works.

Like I’ve said, it’s my medicine. So, I’d rather grow my own medicine, because I know what’s going into it. So, that’s the main reason I cultivate, for myself.

Notwithstanding, there are a few individuals that let me access their plants, and I do extend my resources and knowledge to them as well.

Jarrells also started a couple other businesses aimed at helping people who need medical cannabis. Check out the full story following this link.

RELATED: New Survey of NFL Players Reveals League Pressure to Take Opioids
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