Earlier this week, we reported that Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan is calling on the National Football League to look into medical marijuana as a safer treatment for sports injuries. The owners haven't responded yet, but the players themselves have taken up the cause. Morgan says that the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) - the players' labor reps - will begin researching cannabis as an alternative to opioid painkillers.
"We have some things in the works with the NFLPA, getting some research studies going for players,” Morgan told Nashville's The Midday 180 radio show last week. “Nothing too clinical, but getting some research for players and developing that committee to get the NFLPA to look at alternative pain management. There's definitely some things in the works and we just have to keep that going.”
Morgan has become the NFL's leading active player/advocate after former Baltimore Raven Eugene Monroe - the first active player to speak out against the league's cannabis ban - abruptly retired last July. Since then, Morgan has taken the lead on the issue and things seem to be picking up steam.
But many obstacles remain - in the league as well as in American society. Right now, cannabis is listed as a Schedule I drug in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), meaning the federal government defines it as a substance that has no medical value and is as dangerous as heroin. Activists have pressured the DEA to reschedule cannabis so that it can be recognized as medicine. But their efforts haven't succeeded thus far. Just last month, the DEA thwarted the latest petitions to reclassify cannabis.
The move frustrated advocates like Morgan, who thinks that marijuana could help football players as well as millions of other Americans.
"It didn't happen,” Morgan said, “which was pretty unfortunate more so for a society as a whole.”
Banner image: Tennessee Titans linebacker, Derrick Morgan, in a game against the Baltimore Ravens on November 9, 2014. (wikipedia.org)