NFL Marijuana

The NFL may not be ready to change its mind regarding its stance on marijuana, but the voices from within the league challenging the NFL continue to grow. The debate was taken to a new level by former Baltimore Ravens lineman Eugene Monroe, and he continues to be joined by others speaking out about the need for the NFL to re-evaluate its stance regarding medical marijuana.

“I think for the NFL to say that cannabis does not benefit the long-term health of its players without actually having gone and done the research — I don’t think that’s an accurate statement,” Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan said to Katie Couric in an interview for Yahoo.

Monroe previously suggested the only voices listened to by the NFL were those from players who had difficulty with addiction to marijuana through team doctor prescribed treatments. Of course, there is much more to the world of medical marijuana and the possible long-term effects it can have on a player beyond what is used just in the team’s medical office. Monroe has been one of the prominent names in the ongoing fight for more medical marijuana research in the NFL. He has invested in cannabis pain management research, donating at least $10,000 for the cause, and supposedly been cut by the Ravens because of his advocacy.

The NFL has shown few signs of wavering from its position regarding its hard-nosed substance abuse policy, as it is a product of a collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players union with advice from medical experts as guidance. The NFL has, however, taken part in a conference call with medical researchers in the field. The issue is the expanding research done on certain forms of marijuana that continue to reach beyond the NFL’s seemingly narrow view of the drug.

“There’s been some extraordinary compelling, preclinical work that’s demonstrated that CBD is incredibly effective at helping to limit the extent of brain injury, which is really very intriguing and promising,” says Staci Gruber, Director of McLean Hospital’s MIND program and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

Given the rising awareness for head trauma and brain injuries in football, perhaps the NFL should take a look at the research being done. It couldn’t hurt, right?

For now, the NFL will stick to its policy, as it tends to do with most debates, until it ends up costing them a penny or two in some way.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.

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