The NFL and the NFL Players Association have a strict policy against the use of marijuana. But, players are beginning to bug them to reconsider it. They’re saying that cannabis can be used for pain relief and possibly concussion prevention.

One of these player, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe asserts that as a professional football player, chronic pain is practically written in the job description.

When you hit other players as hard as you can, every single day you practice, this only makes sense. Football players experience a great deal of pain, a great deal of the time.

For this reason, many more players are looking to cannabis for pain relief. Eugene Monroe announced this bluntly, despite risking punishment from the NFL.

Existing Pain Management

The existing ways to manage pain include opioids and noninflammatory medications. But both of these medications are highly addictive and those that take them run the risk of overdoes.

People all over the country are addicted to pain medication, and this addiction doesn’t stop in the locker room.

Last year, a class action lawsuit was filed against 32 NFL teams by former players. These players said that staff members and doctors pushed painkillers onto players in order to quickly get them back on the field. This case was transferred to the federal court. An additional, similar suit was filed in 2014 (but it was dismissed).

The NFL’s Response to Marijuana

For now, they are sticking to their point. NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell said, “It’s an NFL policy and we believe it’s the correct policy, for now, in the best interest of our players and the long-term health of our players.”

Goodell also acknowledge that there HAVE been some positive scientific findings about the use of cannabis – but not enough he says.

He says that their view on marijuana will not change until their medical personnel changes their view.


Players, such as Monroe say it is time for more research to look at the potential health benefits of medical marijuana. While Monroe is the first active player to be publicly open about this, several retired players have admitted to marijuana use. Those that are open about it have also said that it is fairly common in the NFL.