This week ArcView Group held an event for the first time in Portland, Oregon. Portland is home to an amazing cannabis community, and having the ArcView Group in town is a big validation for Portland's growing cannabis industry. The event had a heavy sports cannabis focus because former NBA All Star Cliff Robinson was presenting on behalf of his new company, Uncle Spliffy. Former Heisman trophy winner Ricky Williams was in attendance, in addition to the founder of The 420 Games Jim McAlpine. A lot of the speakers touched on the benefits of cannabis for athletes, as well as the need for cannabis reform in sports.
One of the highlights of the event was when current Baltimore Ravens player Eugene Monroe spoke. I have been blogging about him quite a bit these days because of his outspoken support for medical cannabis research and reform in professional sports. Eugene Monroe has a very unique message because he is a current player, and is subjected to frequent drug testing. I have to assume that since he has become vocal in his support for cannabis reform and research he has had to take many 'random' drug tests.
It's safe to say that Eugene Monroe does not consume cannabis. But that doesn't stop him from supporting research for cannabis. He doesn't consume cannabis so he can get high, although I'm sure he would be quick to say that players shouldn't be punished for doing so. Eugene Monroe supports research because it will benefit players. He supports the use of cannabis by players for medical purposes as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, which are wreaking havoc on players' bodies.
Cannabis is safer and often times more effective than pharmaceutical drugs, especially for the types of injuries that are sustained by professional athletes. Science and compassion should be determining the NFL's cannabis policies, not outdated (and long since debunked) political views. Owners and fans should want what's best for players, and pumping players full of painkillers while denying them the right to use something safer is the opposite of what is best for players.
It takes a hell of a lot of courage to do what Eugene Monroe is doing, and I couldn't be happier to have him on the cannabis advocate team, in whatever capacity possible. Below is a message that Eugene Monroe posted on Instagram after giving his speech, which people are still talking about whenever I bring up the event:
Eugene Monroe is changing minds, and in a big way. I very much look forward to seeing where his advocacy goes. It makes me happy to see him embraced by the cannabis world, and I hope that his advocacy encourages other professional athletes to come out in support of cannabis reform. It requires walking a very straight path to avoid problems with professional leagues, but that's also why such advocacy is so important. Sports cannabis is going to be very big in the future, both from an industry standpoint as well as from a reform standpoint, and I hope to see Eugene Monroe helping lead the way!