Before I share a story, I have to state, for conflict of interest reasons, that I've never smoked/inhaled anything. But, if I had chronic pain, I believe I would want to try cannabinoids before opiates or some of the other medications currently on the market. I'm watching as the story of medical marijuana evolves and my Medical Marijuana and Hospitals post and article Finding balance for patients: Hospitals and marijuana were the first clues.
So, on to the story....Eugene Monroe is only one person and he happens to be an offensive tackle for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. He suffers from chronic pain from sports-related injuries, but his use cannabinoid products to treat his pain he would be in violation of NFL policies, so he uses prescribed opioids.
He recognizes the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) for pain management and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and has donated $80,000 to fund research at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. The two organizations launched a public service announcement and fundraising campaign "When the Bright Lights Fade" to help endow a series of pilot research studies that examine the impact of cannabinoid therapies on current and former NFL players. Eugene hopes that his actions will influence the NFL in changing their policy on cannabis and recognize it as a viable treatment option.
His and the support of other current and former athletes is making it possible for researchers to plan two separate studies; one that will follow current players through a season and evaluate substance use of all types, injuries, recoveries, and other health-related issues. The other will be an in-depth survey of former players that will evaluate health and quality of life.
Due to the NFL's strict anti-cannabis policies, it's difficult for current players to even speak in support of the plant and its potential therapeutic uses. Despite the risks, 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.
Change takes courage and it starts with one man(woman)! In this case it seems to be Eugene! Maybe the Ravens will now be my second favorite team.... after my Saints!