Retired NFL running back and outspoken cannabis advocate Ricky Williams has joined the lineup of speakers at the Cannabis Life Conference in Toronto happening May 13-14 at the Evergreen Brick Works Centre.

Winner of the 64th Heisman Trophy and a two-time All-American, Williams had a highly decorated college career as a record-setting running back at the University of Texas. In 1999, the New Orleans Saints traded eight picks for the right to select him in the first round of the draft; it was the first time in NFL history that one player was the only pick for a team’s entire draft class. During his 13-year professional career, Williams also played for the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens and was a Pro Bowl MVP and the NFL’s Rushing Leader.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 8.16.37 AMWhile the world was celebrating his many accomplishments on the field, performing at football’s highest level was taking its toll on his body and mind. Seeking the best and safest treatment for the accumulating pain and trauma, he found that medical marijuana was the most effective and natural medicine available to treat the wide-ranging injuries he sustained while playing for the NFL. Upon the league’s discovery of his cannabis use, Williams was harshly penalized both reputationally and financially through suspension and millions of dollars in fines and lost salary.

In addition to recognizing the restorative effects of cannabis plants, Williams has devoted himself to mastering various other methods of caring for and repairing the body naturally. Through years of immersing himself in the study of Ayurvedic medicine in California, yoga and meditation in India, and manual therapies such as the cranial sacral therapy pioneered by the Upledger Institute in Florida, he has become known in many circles as a unique healer with both an extensive knowledge base and the first-hand experience of a professional athlete.

Visit cannabislifeconference.com for more information about participants, panel discussions and other events taking place at the Toronto conference and a second one in Vancouver held July 7-8.

The mission of the two conferences, organized by Jade Maple, the Cannabis Growers of Canada, and Cambridge House International, is to create a central hub for gathering and communication within the cannabis community. The events are designed to create a platform without bias, allowing all voices and stakeholders the opportunity to be heard and effect positive change.