If you read this blog regularly, then you know that I am a big supporter of the sports cannabis movement. To be fair, I'm a big supporter of all cannabis related movements, but I'm particularly excited about the sports cannabis movement because it has the potential to change so many minds. Minds that wouldn't be changed via other activism means. I saw that happen first hand this week while hanging out with some family members.
These particular relatives weren't necessarily anti-cannabis, but they weren't pro-cannabis either. They are Florida residents, and like many Florida residents, they are also senior citizens. I hung out with them in 2014, and they didn't say that they were voting no on Florida's medical marijuana initiative on the 2014 ballot, but they didn't plan on voting for it either. I tried very hard to get their votes for the campaign because I knew every vote would count, and that the reform would benefit them since it would create a safe way for them to obtain effective medicine. I talked with them several times, in a respectful but direct way to no avail.
This year I was able to get them on the right side of history in one conversation. I knew that they were both former athletes, and that they were both football and basketball fans in particular. I shared with them stories about how former pro athletes like NBA All Star Cliff Robinson and former NFL players Ricky Williams and Kyle Turley were pushing for cannabis reform in sports because too many athletes are being forced to use harmful substances that often aren't as effective as cannabis.
I also shared with them the story of current NFL player Eugene Monroe, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens. I pointed out that here we have someone who is in top physical condition, is successful in every measurable way, and despite the fact that he doesn't even consume cannabis, Eugene adamantly supports medical cannabis research for athletes and reforming cannabis laws in sports. I could tell by the looks on their faces and by their increasing interest as the conversation went along that their minds were being changed right before my very eyes. Truly powerful stuff.
Again, these are people that I had talked to previously about cannabis reform. Ultimately the message I was telling them was the same, but the messenger was different this time so to speak. They didn't relate to my personal stories and information about cannabis. However, when I shared with them the message of the sports cannabis movement, and first hand stories from elite athletes, it was something that they could relate to. They too have injuries and aches and pains from their days as athletes, and hearing that cannabis helped other athletes, and in some cases even saved their lives, really changed their minds.
It's not the first time that I've seen that unfold before my very eyes. Some of my friends and family that are most opposed to cannabis have recently got on the right side of history 100% because I shared the message of the sports cannabis movement. Eugene Monroe recently launched a campaign to try to change minds in the NFL, and to get the NFL to change its marijuana policy. The NFL has a lot of issues right now that could instantly be helped by reforming league cannabis laws, from player health to off the field issues.
Reform in the NFL is overdue. NFL owners should be on board, as should fans, sponsors, and players themselves. Owners, sponsors, and fans should want their players to be as healthy as possible. They should want their athletes to be on the field performing to the best of their abilities. They should want their players to live as pain free as possible off the field so that they enjoy their lives. To say otherwise lacks compassion.
Cannabis can help NFL players, and along with the players, the league as a whole. That's the message of Eugene Monroe's new campaign. Marijuana needs to be removed from the list of banned substances by the NFL. I will absolutely be supporting Eugene's effort, and you should too, whether you like football or not. You can find out more about Eugene's mission, and sign up for updates, by visiting his website, giving a 'like' on Facebook, and by using the hashtag #Cannabis4Pain. Tell everyone else that you know to do the same!