I have made it no secret that I'm a big fan of former NFL player Eugene Monroe, and not just because of what he did on the field. My admiration for Eugene Monroe goes far beyond the game of football.
Eugene Monroe is a freedom fighter, and a very courageous one that that. It's not easy to speak up, let alone on a stage as large as the NFL.
When Eugene Monroe first started advocating for cannabis reform as a then-current NFL player, he was the only one in the league to do so. Since then other players have stepped up, especially the Tennessee Titans' Derrick Morgan.
Eugene Monroe has since, of course, retired from the game of football, and has wasted virtually no time in ramping up his advocacy efforts. I'm assuming Eugene still hits the gym, and has been spending more time with his family, but he has also been on a tear in the name of compassion.
Eugene Monroe the writer
I was pleasantly surprised to see something come across social media while I was sitting in my cubicle on August 1st. Eugene Monroe published his first article for The Cannabist. I urge all readers to check it out. A very well written, thoughtful piece.
The article discusses Eugene's valid concern for current and former NFL players. The long term injuries that many players have been dealing with are horrific, and there is still a lot yet to be known about the conditions involved.
Brain injuries are very common in football, and for a long time no one really talked about it. Addiction to painkillers has also been an issue in pro football (and all professional sports for that matter) for many years. Only recently has the issue risen to the level it is at now, garnering a lot of attention.
Eugene's fears are well founded. Eugene himself may have to deal with long term effects from his playing days. Fortunately, now that he is retired he will be able to use medical cannabis if he chooses to do so, which is something that wasn't an option while he was a current player.
How did Eugene Monroe get interested in medical cannabis?
In addition to writing for The Cannabist, Eugene Monroe also recently did an interview with Deadspin. It's a very interesting interview, in which Eugene goes fairly in depth describing his mission.
Eugene also talked about how he got interested in medical cannabis as a form of pain treatment/management. After detailing his own experiences with painkillers, and how he didn't find them to be effective, Eugene had the following to say about exploring the idea of cannabis as a form of pain management:
“I think at that point I started to really look for things that showed how cannabis is being used to manage pain for people. And it also came at a time where the information about how deadly the opioid crisis had become. It sort of just came at the same time. I was recovering from an injury and looking for ways to get healthy. I was researching the benefits of medical marijuana, and also seeing that marijuana, in some cases, was being provided as a solution to the opioid problem. Through that, I also learned that patients who are on opioids to deal with pain were prescribed cannabis, and in some cases no longer needed the opioid drugs to manage their pain.”
Both of these articles by Eugene are great reads. Also, if you haven't already read it, Eugene's article in The Player's Tribune, in which Eugene announced his retirement, is also a must read.
Once again I tip my hat to Mr. Monroe. I'm exstatic to know he is on the activism team full time now, and I continue to look forward to what he is up to next. Eugene fights for compassion, and that's something that everyone should be on board with, in the NFL and beyond.
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