The NFL season started this last Thursday. For NFL fans, it was the start of their favorite time of the year. For people that don’t like the NFL, I’d imagine it’s the start of a time of the year that may be less than desirable. For those in the latter group, my apologies 🙂 But even if you don’t like football, I hope that you still support the growing sports cannabis movement because every adult deserves to consume cannabis for wellness and/or recreational purposes if they choose to do so, and aren’t bothering anyone else. That goes for NFL players too.
Now retired NFL player, but at the time current NFL player, Eugene Monroe sparked a conversation in the league prior to the season starting when he expressed his support for reform in the NFL. Eugene cited many facts related to common injuries that NFL players experience, specifically traumatic brain injuries. Eugene also regularly pointed out the fact that NFL players experience a much higher level of opioid abuse than found in society, and that the NFL pushes opioids hard while at the same time prohibiting any use of marijuana whatsoever.
Eugene has since retired, but other current players are stepping up and continuing the fight to reform the NFL from the inside. One of those players is Lions’ Linebacker DeAndre Levy, who has spoken out in support of marijuana reform in the league before. DeAndre is going to be writing a guest column for the Detroit Free Press every week, with his first column being published today. The ongoing series is supposed to include DeAndre’s thoughts about ‘football and life.’ This week he took time to answer some questions from readers. The question was, ‘You get to make three changes to the NFL, what would they be?’
DeAndre offered up three things. The first two were more diversity on NFL team staffs, and post-career health coverage. Those two didn’t raise my eyebrow. However, his third thing was particularly fantastic from a marijuana/football fan perspective. Below is what DeAndre had to say:
3. I would remove cannabis from the banned substance list and have stricter HGH testing. There’s enough research today to justify cannabis as a safer, less addictive alternative for pain management. I see NFL players are more likely to be prescribed highly addictive pain relief meds, which often develops into a dependence. Given the fact that a significant amount of energy goes into managing pain, they should really take a hard look at cannabis. It’s not a perfect plant by any means, but it deserves some reconsideration. Most importantly for me, CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical with zero side effects from the plant that has shown promising results in treating traumatic brain injury. We need to learn more about this.
Go get ’em Mr. Levy! The Detroit Free Press is a large media outlet. Today is also opening day for the Detroit Lions’ season, and I have to assume that article has been read many, many times. That’s why I get so excited about the sports cannabis movement. In no way do I want to downplay non-famous people who fight for reform, because we are absolutely vital to moving reform forward. But I always smile when I see professional athletes stepping up and using their massive voices to push reform forward. It doesn’t cost anything, and reaches an audience that desperately needs to hear the message.
I’m curious to see what, if any, backlash DeAndre Levy receives for voicing his opinion in such a big way. Any negative feedback is going to be unwarranted, as Mr. Levy is correct in his belief that marijuana can help players, and that the NFL needs to recognize that fact. Marijuana has the ability to help the NFL, and it’s players, in ways that are desperately needed given all of the issues with painkiller addiction and injury problems in the league. Everyone needs compassion, even NFL players that seem larger than life on television. A big hat tip to DeAndre Levy, and good luck with your season big guy!
image via CBS Sports