For the first time in the history of the NFL, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have come together to explore the potential benefit and management of pain with cannabis. The study on the benefits of cannabis to manage pain will be conducted through two newly established medical committees.
The two committees, created by the league and the players union, will touch on the important medical issues. One key medical issue that the committee would touch on is to review of the practices and policies of prescription medication usage of players within the NFL. Work by the committees is set to begin immediately and any policy changes is said to continue to through the traditional channel that is the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
Allen Sills, Chief Medical Officer of the National Football League, stated: “I think it’s a proud day for the NFL and the NFLPA to come together on these issues in a very public way. I think it demonstrates the spirit of cooperation we have around our health and safety issues. … Both of these committees are about providing the best health care we can to players.”
Numerous players have come forth on the usage of cannabis to manage pain received from the intense physical sport that is football. One player, former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Eugene Monroe, has advocated for cannabis as a pain management substance since as early as 2017.
Eugene Monroe, in 2017, stated: “This pain is never going away. My body is damaged. I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with pills was slowly killing me. Now I’m able to function and be extremely efficient by figuring out how to use different formulations of cannabis.”
The commissioner for the NFL, Roger Goodell, gave insight on how the NFL may change its cannabis policy. Goodell said that the league would be open to cannabis use for pain management if medical and scientific experts verified the validity of the treatment.
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