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Eugene Monroe, left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, was released from the team via termination of contract. The veteran offensive tackle was placed on injured reserve in December 2015 due to a plethora of injuries, such as leg sprains and concussions, from training.

In the past two years, Monroe missed around 15 regular-season games as a result from his injuries. The New York Giants openly admitted that they are in the process of trying to sign on Monroe. If successful, the ex-Ravens player may fill the position of right tackle, since Ereck Flowers is currently occupying the left tackle post.

Focusing on Cannabis Advocacy

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Monroe is a leading advocate for the use of medical marijuana to treat chronic pain and inflammation associated with the sport. Some speculate that his lax views on the use of cannabis in the NFL contributed to his release. In a tweet earlier this month, Monroe accused the Ravens for pushing him away, because of his active pursuit in requesting the league to allow cannabinoid-based treatments.

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“We now know that these [prescription] drugs are not as safe as doctors thought, causing higher rates of addiction, causing death all around our country,” said Monroe during an interview with the Washington Post. “We have cannabis, which is far healthier, far less addictive and, quite frankly, can be better in managing pain.” Despite encountering negative feedback from various NFL commissioners, Monroe highlighted that he will continue to speak out about the benefits of medical cannabis for other players in the league.

Support for Monroe

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Monroe, who is now a free agent, asked the organization to consider new guidelines that prohibit teams from testing players for marijuana. Other football stars, including Kyle Turley and Ricky Williams, showed their support for the request. Turley and Williams did not face any devastating repercussions for their decision to back Monroe, due to their retired status. In November 2015, Turley revealed that weed helped him overcome a crippling addiction to prescription opioids, which he claims contributed to his suicidal, depressive and anxious tendencies.

“This [marijuana] could potentially prevent and postpone any damage done from concussions,” explained Turley. “There is no excuse for us to say we don’t know enough anymore about a plant that has grown from the ground for thousands of years and used as medicine around the world.”

Williams took a more casual approach to cannabis advocacy during his NFL career. The charismatic 1998 Heisman Trophy winner, who also played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2011, was known for failing numerous drug tests during his 10-year run with the football organization. Williams was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and used weed to alleviate injuries related to the sport, which may have also helped him overcome his social awkwardness. The future currently looks bright for Williams, as he prepares to launch the world’s first cannabis-friendly gym in San Francisco, California.

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