Eugene Monroe

New York: Former NFL Star Marvin Washington Advocating for Cannabis

Marvin Washington Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Former NFL Defensive End Marvin Washington, who played 11 years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 1999, wants the NFL and the Players Association to embrace cannabis as a safe alternative to treat debilitating sports injuries.

Colorado: NFL Players Fight Pain With Medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Nine former professional football players, all members of the Denver Broncos Alumni Association, met recently at CW Hemp offices in Boulder, CO for a tour and a firsthand lesson on the potential benefits of the marijuana plant. They all suffer daily from aches and pains that are a result of the combined nearly 700 NFL games in which they have played.

“Every day, I wake up in pain, from my ankles to my neck,” said Ebenezer Ekuban, 40, who played defensive end for nine NFL seasons. “It’s part of the territory. I know what I signed up for.”

Football players have treated pain for years with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, powerful prescription painkillers, and alcohol. One study says that retired NFL players use opioids at four times the rate of the general population. Marijuana advocates say there's a safer, healthier alternative available.

“This pain is never going away. My body is damaged,” said Eugene Monroe, 30, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens last year just three weeks after becoming the first active player to publicly call on the NFL to permit medical marijuana. “I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with pills was slowly killing me. Now I’m able to function and be extremely efficient by figuring out how to use different formulations of cannabis.”

Maryland: Marijuana Advocate Eugene Monroe to Retire From NFL

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Eugene Monroe, veteran offensive tackle who became the first active NFL player to openly ask the league to allow players to use medical marijuana, has announced he will retire after seven seasons.

Having first played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, he most recently played for the Baltimore Ravens until his release in June. Monroe said that he felt his release had something to do with his stance on medical marijuana.

Retired players have often asked the league to discontinue its ban on medical marijuana use. In March, Monroe backed up those requests, saying medical marijuana is safer than the opioids and prescription painkillers that are regularly given to players.

Although Ravens Coach John Harbaugh disagreed with Monroe's views, a team spokesman declined to say if his advocacy for marijuana contributed to the decision to let him go.

Monroe has been contacted since then by several teams, but has refused all offers. He said his decision to retire is based on his numerous injuries and the fear that he would become incapacitated if he continued to play.

“It is a very demanding sport on your body, and it’s taken a toll on me time and time again,” Monroe said. He said that he had damaged both his knees, had surgery on one of his shoulders and had an array of chronic ailments and injuries that did not need surgery.

U.S.: Derrick Morgan Becomes 2nd Active NFL Player To Support Marijuana Research

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Last week Derrick Morgan, starting outside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, became the second active NFL player to call on the league to support cannabis research in order to see how specific compounds in the plant can help treat or prevent chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE.)

"If there's any evidence that this could help players, they owe it to us to explore it," Morgan told USA Today. "You hear about a lot of former players suffering from depression and dementia.

"Or the suicides," Morgan said. "[The NFL] could and should be a leader in this. If there's any evidence that this could help players, they owe it to us to explore it ... It's a legitimate ask."

Morgan went on to tell Katie Couric in an exclusive interview: "Given how much influence the NFL has on society, I think it would help the greater good. There's a lot of people suffering and a lot of people that can benefit from cannabis as a medical treatment."

Tennessee: Titans Linebacker Derrick Morgan Joins Eugene Monroe's Marijuana Cause

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan has joined Eugene Monroe in asking the NFL to research the benefits of medical marijuana.

"I feel like the NFL has a responsibility to look into it, to delegate time and money to research this for its players," Morgan told Yahoo Global News. "Given how much influence that the NFL has on society, I think it would help the greater good. There's a lot of people suffering and a lot of people that can benefit from cannabis as a medical treatment."

Monroe had been the only active NFL player to publicly speak out for marijuana policy reform, until appearing with Morgan in an interview with host Katie Couric.

Morgan has played 76 games for the Titans, and has recorded 27.5 sacks. He signed a four-year, $27 million contract in 2015.

Morgan said he's not concerned about the reaction to his position on marijuana as a benefit to NFL players.

"In thinking of the benefits that will come from spreading the awareness and the knowledge about this substance, I think greatly outweighs any backlash or ramifications that might come about it," he told Yahoo. "It's about not only us, but former players, future players and more so society as a whole."

The league has resisted the idea that marijuana could benefit players, clinging to the reality that marijuana is banned under the substance abuse policy.

New York: Jim McMahon Thinks Marijuana Can Help Retired NFL Players

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Jim McMahon, quarterback for the Super Bowl XX-winning Chicago Bears, had a career plagued with injuries and still suffers with several injuries in retirement. But he says he has found help for that suffering with marijuana.

McMahon was on a panel of former NFL players at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York City, and he said there that NFL players need to get off opioid painkillers and instead use marijuana.

“There’s so many uses to this plant,” McMahon said, in an interview with the New York Daily News. “Hundreds of thousands of people are dying from [painkillers] and there’s not one case of people dying from the hemp plant.”

Former Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall agreed with McMahon.

“My quality of life has improved because of this,” Marshall said.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league doesn't plan to change its marijuana policy, despite many former players — as well as at least one current player, Eugene Monroe — advocating for marijuana use.

“It’s an NFL policy and we believe it’s the correct policy, for now, in the best interest of our players and the long-term health of our players,” Goodell said in February. “I don’t foresee a change in that clearly in the short term.”

New York: Giants Coach McAdoo Has No Problem With Free Agent Eugene Monroe's Advocacy For Medical Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Eugene Monroe, now a free agent tackle for the NFL, says he will not back down from his stance that the NFL should allow players to use medical marijuana. The New York Giants hope to sign him, and it appears they have no problem with that.

Giants coach Ben McAdoo said he has absolutely no problem with any of his players, or potential players, expressing their opinions, even on controversial subjects. And while he declined to address the Giants’ interest in Monroe or his own feelings on medical marijuana, McAdoo said Monroe’s stance isn’t an issue for him at all.

“I think everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” McAdoo said. “Myself, I haven’t done any research. I don’t have a great answer for you there. That’s probably more of a political question, something that I’m not necessarily willing to jump into at this point, or ever. But every player, every coach, every person has their own opinion and is entitled to it.”

Monroe was released from the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday; he indicated that his stance on medical marijuana is why the Ravens fired him with three years and $20 million left on his contract.

He has been very vocal about his opinion that medical marijuana is a safer alternative to the opioids and painkillers prescribed to so many NFL players.

Maryland: Baltimore Ravens Cut Eugene Monroe, Mention His Marijuana Advocacy

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Baltimore Ravens released offensive tackle Eugene Monroe Wednesday, mentioning his outspoken marijuana advocacy on their website afterwards.

“Monroe had surgery to repair a torn labrum (shoulder) this offseason, and used the time off to become the first active NFL player to openly campaign for the use of medical marijuana. The Ravens did not rally behind the cause,” the Ravens’ website says.

After that, the Ravens’ site included a quote from head coach John Harbaugh, saying, “I promise you, he does not speak for the organization."

There usually are more than one reason when a player is cut. Monroe was due a $6.5 million salary this year and had a history of injuries.

But Monroe's outspoken push for the NFL to consider changing its position on marijuana is probably one of thee reasons for him getting dropped.

That would be unfortunate if true. Players should be able to speak their mind when it comes to matters of public policy without it costing their position in the organization.

Michigan: Lions Linebacker Levy Speaks Out For Medical Marijuana Reform

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Eugene Monroe, offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, has been the only active NFL player to speak out for reform in the league's marijuana policy for a long time. But he was joined recently by DeAndre Levy, linebacker for the Detroit Lions, who spoke out about medical marijuana research for NFL players.

He spoke to the Detroit Free Press about using medical marijuana as a substitute for opioid drugs: “I think it’s something that needs to be addressed,” Levy said. “I know players, former, current and it was a time where it was very, very easy to get as many painkillers as you needed, as many sleeping pills as you needed. And if we’re talking about the health of our players, past their playing career, I think it’s definitely something that needs to at least be acknowledged and something looked into as there’s a lot of viable and growing body of research supporting it.”

Levy has been outspoken on a number of social issues since his injury, taking aim at the NFL for the way it’s handled concussions and penning an essay for The Players Tribune on sexual assault and the objectification of women.

Suffering a hip injury last season that resulted in surgery, Levy made a conscious decision to rehab himself back to good health without the use of opioid pain-killing pills that are commonly prescribed in the NFL.

U.S.: Top NFL Doctors Have Conference Call With Marijuana Advocates

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe has been pushing for the NFL to change its marijuana policy for months. The NFL seems finally willing to listen.

A pair of the league's top medical people recently participated in a conference call with the researchers Monroe helped fund with a donation of $80,000.

Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president for player health and safety, and Russell Lonser, a neurological surgeon and a member of the league's head, neck, and spine committee, talked to Monroe's group. The league had apparently requested the call.

“They are interested in learning more about the potential for cannabinoids to help current and former players, as is evidenced by them taking the call, and also expressed a desire to learn more,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania school of medicine. “They are definitely showing genuine curiosity, and they are definitely not throwing up roadblocks.”

So far, Monroe is the only active player speaking out for changes in the league's marijuana policy.

U.S.: Baltimore Ravens Tackle Monroe Urges NFL To End Marijuana Ban, Reduce Opioid Use

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Football League should reduce the use of opioids and allow injured players to use medical marijuana, Baltimore Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe wrote in an essay published in The Players' Tribune on Monday.

"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," Monroe wrote in an essay titled "Getting off the T Train," reports Pat McManamon at ESPN.

"[Medical marijuana] is safer, less addictive and can even reduce opioid dependence," Monroe wrote.

Both the NFL and the NFL Players Association officially ban any use of cannabis. Monroe said it's time for that policy to come to an end. He called for the league and union to:

• Remove marijuana from the banned substance list;
• Fund cannabis research, especially as it relates to the brain disease CTE; and
• Stop "overprescribing addictive and harmful opioids."

"I'm not asking the NFL to prescribe players cannabis," Monroe wrote. "I'm calling on the league to remove its testing protocols for cannabis. It just makes sense."

Colorado: Former Denver Broncos Quarterback Jake Plummer Says Hemp Helps

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer says he is taking CBD, or cannabidiol, and it helps ease the pain he suffers daily after a decade of playing in the NFL.

He joins an expanding group of professional athletes who say they need safer, more natural ways to manage pain than addictive prescription opioids.

CBD is a compound of cannabis that does not give a feeling of euphoria, or a "high" like THC does.

Plummer is part of a group of former and current NFL players requesting that the league back research on the benefits and effectiveness of CBD in managing pain.

"It is a real problem for players," Plummer said."It helps your body instead of hurting it."

Eugene Monroe, a current tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, recently donated $80,000 to research into cannabidiol. Plummer says a lot of players are taking it and benefiting from it but they have not come forward publicly.

Nevada: Experts, Leaders To Discuss Breaking Barriers To Medical Marijuana Research

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As the new medical marijuana industry takes shape in Nevada, the most often asked questions of patients are “Will cannabis help me?” and “Which strain works best for my illness?” Many regulatory barriers exist for the medical community to conduct the research needed to answer these questions.

Nationally recognized experts and state leaders will discuss the regulatory challenges, necessary reforms and the possibilities these changes will create for patients on Wednesday, May 25 in Las Vegas.

Panelists include John Hudak of The Brookings Institution, Sue Sisley, MD, The Grove Medical Director, Nevada State Senator Patricia Farley, and Eugene Monroe, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle and Gridiron Cannabis Coalition. This event will be moderated by Nevada State Senator Tick Segerblom.

“More than 160 million Americans live in states with approved medical marijuana systems," said Hudak. "Each year, millions use marijuana with the hope of therapeutic and medicinal benefit. Yet, the federal government has constructed and continues to reinforce a series of barriers that prevent the scientific and medical community from studying the medical efficacy of marijuana.

"This event will explore those regulatory roadblocks and discuss solutions that reclaim the integrity of science and give sound answers to patients and doctors,” Hudak said.

Maryland: Baltimore Ravens' Monroe Makes Big Donation To Marijuana Research

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Baltimore Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe, ever the outspoken marijuana advocate, has donated $80,000 to a group researching medical marijuana at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania.

The study is looking into possible marijuana-related therapies for current and former NFL players.

The press release from The Realm of Caring and CW Botanicals said Monroe: “cannot use cannabinoid products and is instead prescribed opioids to manage his chronic pain from sports-related injuries. He recognizes the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) for pain management and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and fully supports this research that could help professional and amateur athletes as well as anyone suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Eugene hopes that his actions will influence the NFL in changing their policy on cannabis and recognize it as a viable treatment option.

“Due to the NFL’s strict anti-cannibas policies, it’s difficult for current players to speak in support of the plant and its potential therapeutic uses. Despite the risks, on March 9 Eugene became the first active NFL player to call on the NFL to remove marijuana from the banned substances list; fund medical marijuana research, especially as it relates to CTE; and to urge the NFL to stop overprescribing opioids.”

Maryland: Baltimore Ravens Tackle Gives $10K To Marijuana Research, Asks Players To Contribute

Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe pledged $10,000 to marijuana research.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

In response to an NFL official admitting for the first time there is a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) Monday evening, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe pledged $10,000 to marijuana research. He posted 38 tweets and six retweets Monday night advocating for research on how medical marijuana can help curb traumatic brain injuries.

Last week Monroe was interviewed by CNN. "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 not budged to remove marijuana from their banned substances list. Roger Goodell of the NFL was questioned about it at this year's Super Bowl. "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," he said.

The NFL Player's Association (NFLPA) agrees with NFL policy. "Marijuana is currently a banned substance under the collectively bargained Substances of Abuse Policy. Both parties to the policy (NFL and NFLPA) seek guidance from the independent medical professionals who administer the policy, and no change to marijuana's status as a banned substance has been recommended by those medical professionals."

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