Article by Tyler Koslow, Merry Jane
“When you play in the NFL you’re injured a lot,” says former Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Eugene Monroe. “And, for every injury, doctors give you things to manage your pain, so you can stay on the field.”
Unfortunately, for most athletes in the National Football League, those “things” are usually anti-inflammatory drugs and opiate painkillers that can lead to serious detrimental addiction. When Monroe was plagued with multiple injuries after joining the Baltimore Ravens in 2013 to block for Joe Flacco, he too was prescribed a variety of pills to deal with his pain.
After recognizing the negative effects of these highly addictive opiates, he stumbled upon cannabis as an alternative pain medication, which soon blossomed into full-blown advocacy. No professional sports league has a stricter policy on cannabis use than the NFL, so Monroe’s decision was controversial. Selected eighth overall in the 2009 draft by Jacksonville, the University of Virginia standout was considered one of the best rising offensive lineman in the league for years, but the young talent also had a business-savvy mind. Before retiring in June 2016, Monroe was involved the real estate market, and became interested in the cannabis industry.
Monroe recently became a strategic partner with VapeXhale, the health-focused cannabis vaporizer company started by a fellow athlete Seibo Shen. The duo will work together to develop cannabis delivery technologies specifically engineered for athletes suffering from chronic pain. In the meantime, he’s also continued to try and push the NFL towards reconsidering its harsh anti-cannabis policy.
MERRY JANE recently talked to Monroe about being a cannabis advocate as an NFL player, the rampant opiate problem in the NFL, his latest ventures in the cannabis industry, and more.