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Maureen Meehan

Will Basketball Super Star Lauren Jackson Get Medical Marijuana Exemption In Time For World Cup Comeback?

Lauren Jackson, arguably the best female basketball player in history, is getting back onto the court after a nearly eight year hiatus, just in time for the World Cup, but only if she is granted a therapeutic exemption for her medical cannabis use.

The three-time WNBA MVP, four-time Olympian, five-time WNBL champ and seven-time WNBA All-Star, went off prescription drugs several years ago to manage her chronic knee, hip and lower back pain with medical marijuana.

"I've been open about my battle with prescription medication during my career and when I retired, I went off everything because I wanted to raise my kids and just be the very best version of myself," Jackson said, who is six foot five by the way.

Fortunately, her physician proposed trying medical marijuana when she asked for alternative treatment for pain management.

"It's been incredible. It's helped me a lot and gotten me to the point where I'm able to train again and live a very active lifestyle with my two little boys," Jackson said.

Jackson's successful experience with medical cannabis for pain has coaxed her out of retirement to play for her hometown team Albury-Wodonga Bandits in the second-tier NBL1.

Scheduled to play at the stadium named after her, Jackson will join the Bandits in April for the inaugural season in her native Australia, where the World Cup is being held after the season ends.

If denied the therapeutic exemption, however, Jackson will not be able to play.

“That’s been critical in my ability to recover and come back, just the way I’ve been training has helped me a lot. I’m really thankful I got on that trial and I’ll explore my options to get that exemption," said Jackson referring to her cannabis treatment.

“I haven’t played for eight years ... I might be terrible; there are so many unknowns at this point and I’m 40 years old. The stars have really aligned for me at the moment ... to be pain free, get out and move again is what I’m hoping for.

“I was really drained, basketball had taken a huge toll on me emotionally so it’s going to be a new experience for me and I’m so excited.”


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