There is a growing movement in sports to normalize cannabis consumption by athletes for medical purposes. Athletes of all levels endure a lot of aches, pains, and/or injuries, and marijuana can help those athletes deal with those ailments. The alternative is to use pharmaceutical painkillers, which damage a person’s body and can lead to severe addiction. Marijuana is safer, and in a lot of cases, more effective than pharmaceutical drugs.
A lot of former athletes are coming out of the ‘cannabis closet’ and calling for marijuana policy reforms in sports. It’s a bit tougher for current players, who are likely to fear speaking out because they will then likely become a target for drug testing and other scrutiny. But that fear didn’t stop current Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe from not only speaking up in support of more research in regards to cannabis and sports, but he also put his money where his mouth is and donated 10,000 dollars to marijuana research. Per CBS Sports:
An NFL official admitted for the first time Monday evening that there is a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In response, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe sprang into action with a series of 38 tweets and six retweets advocating for research on how cannabinoids (i.e. medicinal marijuana) can help curb traumatic brain injuries.
This is not the first time Monroe has advocated for this type of research. Just last week, he gave an interview to CNN.com on the subject. “The NFL will need to have legitimate information before they remove marijuana from the banned substance list and ultimately not hurt their product in the field,” he said. “But there’s opportunity in that space also, for the NFL to get involved and maybe lead efforts.”
The league has been firm in its stance that it is not removing marijuana from that list. “It’s an NFL policy and we believe it’s the correct policy for now and in the best interest of our players and the long-term health of our players,” Roger Goodell said at the Super Bowl, on the subject of having marijuana on the banned list.
In addition to donating 10,000 dollars towards marijuana research, Eugene Monroe challenged other players to step up and do the same. It take s a lot of courage to come out in the way that Mr. Monroe has as a current player. That’s not to knock retired players, because that’s tough too, but I’m particularly impressed by Eugene Monroe’s bravery. I hope this leads to more current players coming out in support of marijuana policy reform in professional sports.