Eugene Monroe, offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, has urged the NFL to allow the use of medical marijuana and reduce the use of opioids.
In an essay titled “Getting off the T Train” published in The Players’ Tribune, Monroe pleaded with football authorities to ban the use of opioids and substitute them with medical marijuana. “The NFL relies heavily on opioids to get players back on the field as soon as possible, but studies have shown medical marijuana to be a much better solution.”
Marijuana safer than opioids?
According to the 29-year-old, opioid is a very addictive drug. “(Medical marijuana) is safer, less addictive and can even reduce opioid dependence.” While Monroe didn’t suggest that marijuana be legalized, he urged the league to stop testing players for it. “I’m not asking the NFL to prescribe players cannabis. I’m calling on the league to remove its testing protocols for cannabis. It just makes sense.”
Earlier this year, Monroe, an eight-year NFL veteran out of Florida, advocated the use of medical marijuana to treat chronic pain and head injuries – something which almost every player endures. The NFL banned as many as 19 players last season for marijuana use.
In his latest essay, Monroe said the NFL should acknowledge that several studies have proven that marijuana does more good than harm. “I’m not here advocating for NFL players [or anyone] to get high and party while breaking the law. What I’m talking about is the responsibility of the NFL to care for its players. Nineteen players were suspended last season for testing positive for ‘substances of abuse,’ and for some, their careers may be over. Why? For using something that can actually help people?”
Eugene Monroe to NFL: No more pills
Monroe wrote that many of fellow players are being subscribed pills that could have negative longterm ramifications. “The answer can no longer be pills … and more pills. Every NFL player rides the T Train at some point in his career. But we need to be able to get off.”
Eugene Monroe has launched a website to educate athletes about the benefits of marijuana. According to ESPN, “He also has made donations to researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania through an organization called the Realm of Caring, which focuses on cannabis research, education and advocacy.”