CNN decided to join the, “whoa medical marijuana might actual be the answer to the NFL’s concussion problem” today. CNN is a few years late, but given CNN’s pull and power, the feature story “Is it time for football to reconsider” hits home.
The gist of the story is to detail that the NFL prohibits marijuana use (and suspends players!) despite cold hard facts that CBD (cannabidiol) oil has proven benefits to treat brain damage/concussions. CNN seems to be siding with marijuana here and they talked to current Ravens lineman Eugene Monroe and former NFL player Nate Jackson’s wife to prove their points.
This section really sticks out and indicates that players aren’t waiting for the NFL’s okay to use CBD to treat ailments:
Heather Jackson, one founder of the nonprofit Realm of Caring Foundation, said she knows of 19 current and former players who are using oil derived from the cannabis plant to lessen the impact of potential brain injuries when they are out on the field, and as a therapy after being hit with a concussion.
Obviously more than 19 players in the league (and retired) currently smoke weed, but this is talking about weed as medicine to treat concussions. Still, that 19 number is most definitely low, but it still shows how many players are openly trying this new form of medicine.
If you want to go deeper, estimates have NFL smoking use at above 50% of the league. Eugene Monroe doesn’t go out and say he smokes weed, but his quotes here make it sound like he does:
“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,” Monroe said. “But there’s opportunity in that space also, for the NFL to get involved and maybe lead efforts.”
“When the season is over,” Monroe said, “players can play with their kids, see their families and not have their bodies ache.”
Yes, it is time for Goodell and the NFL to reconsider marijuana. It’s been that time for like five years now. Will they act? Probably not. But if enough active players like Monroe start publicly making the league look like idiots, there’s at least a chance for imminent change.