Ravens OT Donates $80K for Cannabis Research

Marijuana plants grown for medicinal purposes, at a greenhouse in Mexico City on November 30, 2015

Eugene Monroe is putting his money where his mouth isn’t.

Forbidden from inhaling marijuana by the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle donated $80,000 to study the effects of cannabis on football players. The donation, to a Colorado group called Realm of Caring, funds research at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins.

“As a player I’m not allowed to use cannabis, but I’ve been prescribed opioids for various injuries,” the eighth-year player out of UVa told Philly.com yesterday. “The opioids work, but they’re very dangerous and highly addictive.”

Monroe says he seeks to remove marijuana from the NFL’s banned substances list, encourage the league to fund research on cannabis as a painkiller, and discourage the use of addictive opioids. He recently launched a website to pursue those aims.

“On March 9, 2016, I became the first active NFL player to openly advocate for the use of cannabinoids to treat chronic pain and sports-related injuries,” Monroe writes at EugeneMonroe.com. “It’s time for the NFL to change its archaic standards to better protect its players and set an example for our young athletes (high school athletes are more commonly using drugs than their peers and football players are most likely to use drugs). For too long, I’ve watched my teammates and good friends battle with opioid addiction and leave the game with a long road still ahead; it’s time to make a change.”