Smiling widely next to Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz at the opening of the small Pioneer Valley city’s newest cannabis dispensary Thursday was former New England Patriots defensive end Eric Martin.
The former NFL player, a Super Bowl XLIX champion, has worked as an advocate for marijuana since retiring from professional football in 2018 at age 26 due to several consecutive concussions suffered over the course of his career. Cannabis helped relieve his symptoms, he said in 2019.
Narkewicz posed for a photograph alongside Martin after the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening of the medical and recreational dispensary at 216 North King St. The event was well-attended, with a long line of customers waiting outside to check out the new shop, the mayor noted. The football player also spoke about his positive experiences with the drug inside the new store.
“That was an added bonus,” Narkewicz said about Martin attending the event. “He’s become an advocate for cannabis reform. His story: He suffered multiple concussions as an NFL player and wound up retiring early from the sport. For him, cannabis has really been life-changing for finding both physical and mental relief.”
Concussions are commonplace for football players, causing long-lasting pain, drowsiness, nausea, memory loss, loss