During the offseason, then Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe advocated publicly for the NFL to research the medical benefits of cannabis. Since then, Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Derrick Morgan has done extensive research on the topic, and has taken initiative to spread awareness of the actual medical application of marijuana.
“My journey really started back when all the information about CTE and traumatic brain injury was really hitting the news, and that was becoming more prevalent,” Morgan told The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday. “As a player, it was something I took note of and really started to kind of do my own research to see if I could be proactive about my health if there was anything out there. And I’d seen Eugene [Monroe] advocating for it, and I’ve seen a couple documentaries, especially one on CNN where kids with epilepsy were getting dramatic results from the CBD oil that was being administered to them, and I was like, well if this has some medical applications for these kids with neuro degenerative diseases, then let me look into this for my own self-being that I play a high contact sport, and I really just started my education process.”
The sixth-year former first-round draft pick feels there are multiple medical benefits of cannabis use from which players could benefit.
“I think there’s a lot of applications. We could just start with the opioids epidemic that has really hit our country, and the NFL has not been immune to that. So I think that’s definitely an alternative to opioids for pain and a lot of other applications,” Morgan said. “The thing that really got my attention was the neuro protective qualities of CBD. CBD is the component of marijuana which doesn’t necessarily get you high, has non-psycho active, but it’s actually been patented by the government as a near protectant, so that right there being in the sport that we play, we’re banging heads, so if we can have something that can protect our brains and we can be proactive about it, I think that’s really one of the applications we need to take note of in the NFL.”
For the naysayers who say the real reason NFL players are pushing for cannabis use for medical benefits as an excuse to get high, Morgan said they need to get with the times and do some research.
“I think that’s just ignorance man,” Morgan said about people who believe medicinal marijuana use is an easy excuse t get high. “I think that’s ignorance and a lot of stigma that still exists to this day.
“We have over 25 states where its legal in some way, shape or form of it medically, and there’s case after case of people who have benefited from it, so I think when you kind of just boil it down to guys want to get high, I think it just kind of shows you the lack of education on the issue. Will there be guys who could abuse it? Yeah, but that’s the same way with opioids and alcohol. So I think where you really got to take into context here is we’re talking about it in a medical way and that’s what the focus should be.”
When asked if the NFL was open to really exploring the benefits of cannabis for medical usage, the 27-year-old didn’t sound as confident.
“Man, that’s a hard question because you would like to believe they are. They just launched a new 100 million dollar initiative for player health and safety, and I think if you do announce this, and you say you’re serious about the commitment to protecting your players, than you have to look at all things. Cannabis being one of them,” Morgan said. “There’s enough anecdotal evidence out there that shows this could be a viable option for as players as an opioids alternative and a near protectant, so I think you really have to ask them. I want to say believe them, but actions speak louder than words.”