Legendary 49ers quarterback Joe Montana is among the former NFL players who supports using cannabis for pain relief and healing.

Although Montana enjoyed a decorated 16-year career culminating with his Hall of Fame induction in 2000, it wasn’t a pain-free NFL existence. The remedies for his troubles didn’t include cannabis, but the 61-year-old Montana said in an interview with Playboy the time is right to champion the healing powers of cannabis.

Joe Montana appears at Levi’s Stadium during halftime of a San Francisco 49ers football game, Sunday, October 22, 2017, in Santa Clara, California. (Karl Mondon/ Bay Area News Group)

“Legalization is picking up steam on a global level and I feel like now is the time to spread information about the curing capabilities of this plant,” Montana told Playboy. “As with any medicine, increased accessibility comes with the need for education.”

Montana, in fact, is one of the investors who helped raise more than $4 million in seed funding six months ago for Herb, a marijuana content website.

According to one report, retired NFL players use opiods at four times the rate of the general population. While cannabis advocates tout it as a healthier alternative to pills, there’s still plenty of debate on its use in the NFL.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said a few months ago he is opposed to allowing players to use cannabis recreationally, but he remains open to the possibility of medicinal marijuana.

“To date, they haven’t said this is a change we think you should make that’s in the best interests of the health and safety of our players,” Goodell said. “If they do, we’re certainly going to consider that.”

UPDATE: A quote in Playboy’s original article attributed to Joe Montana’s use of cannabis was incorrect, the magazine now reports. This story has been updated to reflect Montana’s correct quote.

To subscribe to The Cannifornian’s email newsletter, click here.