Now that Eugene Monroe has retired, Titans outside linebacker Derrick Morgan is the last active player who is willing to be an advocate for medicinal marijuana.
He hopes he’s not the only one for long, and has shared the research he’s done on the topic. But he hopes time will see the plant’s stigma subside, and that the league will spend as much time researching as he has.
“I just take the NFL for their word: If they say that long-term health and player safety are top priorities of the league, then why aren’t you looking into all the options for health care that are out there?” Morgan told Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. “It’s definitely incumbent upon them to really delegate some time and some resources to look into it.”
Morgan is pushing the medical benefits of cannabis, and wants to draw the line between the possible pain-relief potential the plant holds and the recreational smoking many have made synonymous.
Morgan said he’s never failed a drug test for marijuana, and hasn’t used it because of the league’s rules against it. But he also thinks demonizing the drug by grouping it alongside things such as LSD and heroin keeps people from seeing the protection it could offer players.
“CTE, all this stuff is real … that’s unsettling as a player,” he said. “You want to be able to think that you are going to be there for your family in full capacity, that you’re going to be able to be an active member, contributing member of society. With something like that, I’ve got to look at what my options are. If this happens to be an option, which I think it will be, then I’m going to look into it, . . .
“Every player is in a different position. But at the root of it, if your motivation is being proactive about preserving your health, then I don’t think you should have to tippy-toe around anything.”
At the moment, he’s the only current player even tippy-toeing, but hopes more will join him.