Could NFL Players Benefit From Switching to Marijuana?

Baltimore Ravens Tackle Eugene Monroe is pushing against something other than an opposing team’s defensive line; he’s pushing against the NFL itself. The 29-year-old New Jersey native and NFL star has participated in interviews and even created his own website supporting the benefits the medical marijuana has to offer professional football players.

“I’ve taken vicodin, I’ve taken oxycodone, and those pills changed who I was during the time that I took them,” Monroe said in an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition. “I was loopy and out of it  and not feeling like myself. It slowed my metabolism and my digestive system to a halt.”

Monroe, who has suffered through shoulder injuries, concussions, and ankle sprains (par for the course in a successful NFL career), would rather use marijuana to treat the pain of his injuries than the more addictive and side-effect-prone prescription drugs. But the NFL doesn’t agree with him. At least not yet.

“I don’t agree with the NFL commissioner’s opinion on there not beig enough data or research to change the rules,” Monroe says. “There’s an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence and research that is building to show that cannabis is far safer than the opioids and anti-inflamatories that the doctors are currently prescribing. And we need to take a serious look at that.”

The negative attitude towards marijuana in the NFL is not new. Rookie Laremy Tunsil who was expected to be in the top 5 NFL draft picks in the 2015 draft, was instead dropped down to #13 after a video surfaced of Tunsil smoking out of a gas mask bong. The video was posted to Twitter just minutes before the draft started. Tunsil contends that it was a video taken 2 years prior and that his account had been hacked. The Dolphins aren’t worried, and were happy to take Tunsil as their pick. See the video that stirred up the controversy below.

Meanwhile, Monroe will continue to push for medical marijuana as an option in the NFL. He has even established a website to spread awareness about medical marijuana for pain treatment and how you can get involved.

Do you think the NFL should allow medical marijuana to treat pain? Let us know in the comments below.