Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe has made an $80,000 donation to researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania for studies to examine the impact of cannabinoid therapies on current and NFL players, according to a Thursday press release.
Monroe’s donation was announced jointly by The Realm of Caring and CW Botanicals.
Their press release said in part that 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.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this year that a change in the league’s drug policy was not imminent, either for medical or recreational use.
“We always review our drug policy,” Goodell said during a Super Bowl week press conference. “I don’t foresee a change in that clearly in the short term, but we’ll continue to be in touch with our medical personnel.”
Monroe has missed 16 games over the past two seasons with various injuries, including a concussion, and had shoulder surgery in December after being shut down for the season.
Monroe’s future with the Ravens remains in question. The Ravens drafted left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the No. 6 pick in the draft. The Ravens could opt to play Stanley at left guard and keep Monroe next season, or Monroe could be cut after June 1, which would create $6.5 million in additional salary cap space. Monroe still has three years left on a five-year, $37.5 million contract.
Asked about Monroe’s future following the first night of the draft, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said, “Right now, Eugene is still under medical care.”
And while under medical care, Monroe remains a staunch supporter of medical marijuana research. Monroe has also unveiled a new website www.eugenemonroe.com to explain why he is campaigning for the NFL to remove marijuana from the banned substances list.