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Ravens’ Eugene Monroe makes big donation to marijuana research

San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 07: Tackle Eugene Monroe #60 of the Baltimore Ravens is introduced before the start of an NFL pre-season game against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium on August 7, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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The Ravens wouldn’t draft a left tackle who they knew was smoking marijuana through a gas mask.

But a left tackle who is on their roster for now has made a major contribution to marijuana research.

Via Clifton Brown of, Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe has donated $80,000 to a group researching medical marijuana at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania.

The study is looking into possible cannabinoid therapies for current and NFL players,

The press release from The Realm of Caring and CW Botanicals said Monroe: “cannot use cannabinoid products and is instead prescribed opioids to manage his chronic pain from sports-related injuries. He recognizes the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) for pain management and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and fully supports this research that could help professional and amateur athletes as well as anyone suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Eugene hopes that his actions will influence the NFL in changing their policy on cannabis and recognize it as a viable treatment option.

“Due to the NFL’s strict anti-cannibas policies, it’s difficult for current players to speak in support of the plant and its potential therapeutic uses. Despite the risks, on March 9 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.”

Monroe has been an outspoken advocate, not that it matters to the league, which has shown no indication of flexibility in their outlook toward a substance which is legal to enjoy in two of the cities in which they do business.

It will be interesting to see how the Ravens react to Monroe’s donation.

Even though they bypassed Laremy Tunsil with the sixth pick in the draft after the bong video emerged, they did use that pick on Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley. They’ve said they have no intention to cut Monroe, but that doesn’t preclude trading him or moving him to guard.

And for a team that is clearly sensitive to marijuana-related issues, having someone willing to attach their name to the cause might not do a lot to enhance his position. The fact he’s missed 16 games the last two years and has a big contract doesn’t help, either.