If an NFL player is hurt or injured, there’s a pretty good chance that he will be given toradol, opiates or some form of prescription painkiller. Well, Eugene Monroe has a better idea, an idea that is growing traction within the medical community: marijuana.
For Monroe, who had season-ending shoulder surgery last year, this is a highly personal issue.
“It comes from being injured numerous times, recognizing that health is a priority – not only to remain on the field during the season, but also for long-term health and wellness,” the Ravens tackle said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “States have launched pretty progressive medical-cannabis laws that have allowed people to consume cannabis prescribed by their doctors and alleviate a lot of the issues that, interestingly enough, coincide with stuff that we deal with as athletes. It’s pretty incredible when you look at the science behind it and not the stigmatized views and the false (beliefs) on cannabis, but really what’s being done by some of the top minds in our country.”
The NFL, however, remains steadfast in its opposition to medical marijuana, which has also been shown to help people who suffer from PTSD.
“I believe that it’s a policy that they need to change,” Monroe said. “We know now that cannabis isn’t this horrible drug that we’ve been told for decades. We have multiple generations that have been fed propaganda and never got the opportunity to understand the science behind cannabis, which has been around forever. People have been using it medically for a very long time. Now that states are legalizing medical use of it and doctors are able to do observational studies and also, more recently, clinical trials as well . . . this is really significant science. This medicine is helping people across our country.”
Monroe, if you’re curious, is not a marijuana user.
“I wasn’t before and I’m not now,” he said. “The league bans it. It’s been banned essentially at every level of sports. It’s something I’m not able to use. There’s penalties for testing positive for it, and you see guys having an escalating amount of those penalties stack up, including losing games, losing paychecks, ending careers. That’s not something that any player should (experience).
“The NFL should not be testing players for marijuana,” Monroe went on to say. “In some states that have NFL teams, marijuana is acceptable medically. Players need the option to be prescribed that in place of the horrible opiates that are being given out for various injuries. . . . This is a countrywide issue where people are being prescribed opiates by their doctors for injury and pain, and we know these drugs tear your body up and in some cases lead to addiction – even death.”