Our Top 5 Favorite Athletes Who Smoke Weed
Published on 2/15/22
It's hard to imagine marijuana as a typical performance enhancing drug. Imagine trying to run faster, jump higher, or hit farther when you've burned through a gram or two of really good kush. Maybe you'd be better at MarioKart, but when it comes to physical activity, it might seem a lot harder to imagine playing a spot - let alone playing a professional sport. Yet athletes who smoke weed aren't limited to high school parking lots, and more and more of the best sportsmen and women on the planet are opening up about their use of ganja and how it can be a performance enhancing drug (PED).
Professional sports leagues have extensive testing policies meant to ensure that athletes cannot sneak steroids or other banned substances. When it comes to THC for athletes, testing also ensures that they aren't sneaking in recreational drugs as well. That's true of every major sport, although as more players come forward about marijuana use, the rules have changed (slightly).
NFL drug testing policy was one of the first to be relaxed: players can enjoy sparking a joint anytime outside of training camp and the preseason, although they still are drug tested for PEDs. NBA drug policy stated that there would be no further random marijuana tests in 2021-2022, although it is unclear whether this policy would continue further. MLB drug testing has dropped cannabis altogether; it is now treated similarly to alcohol, requiring players only to be referred to a treatment program, which players do not have to participate in. NHL drug testing is famous for only testing twice a year, and it has never handed down punishments for marijuana use.
However, there are no such progressive policies when it comes to the Olympics. Olympian Sha'Carri Richardson tested positive for cannabis and was suspended for a month, causing her to miss the Tokyo Games. While the Olympics may take steps towards easing cannabis policy, it's not a given, especially since some nations (including Japan) have far more strict cannabis laws than the United States.
"I smoked two blunts before every game," said the former Dallas Cowboy defensive end, one of the most vocal pro athletes for cannabis use. Smith played nine seasons in the NFL, and at 325 pounds, it's not hard to imagine that he required that much THC in his bloodstream before he could feel the effects. As NFL weed policy is relaxed, trailblazers like Smith deserve credit for helping to destigmatize cannabis use in the pro sports world.
A veteran of no fewer than 16 seasons in the NBA, Al Harrington is a player who could have collected his paychecks and smoked pot in silence. Instead, he has been outspoken in his interest in cannabis and his desire to see the war on drugs end. He appeared in an advertisement in favor of California's Proposition 64, which facilitated the legalization of recreational marijuana in the nation's largest state. He also wrote an article in The Player's Tribune titled "9 Reasons to End the War on Marijuana." After his playing career, Harrington interviewed NBA commissioner David Stern and questioned the league's stance on cannabis; Stern claimed that the interview had changed his opinion on marijuana, making Harrington the most successful NBA player who smokes weed to have argued for the drug's policy reform. Harrington today runs Viola Brands, a cannabis extracts company.
The most famous of all the NFL players to smoke weed. Former running back, Ricky, was so outspoken about his love of herb that he was willing to give up a multimillion-dollar career for it - after setting the Miami Dolphins' franchise records for rushing yards and touchdowns. Since Williams played in the early 2000s, back when cannabis was totally outlawed - both legally and by pro sports leagues, Ricky failed multiple tests, incurring suspensions and huge fines. Ultimately playing in the Canadian league because the NFL wouldn't take him back in, Ricky has since been an advocate for cannabis, saying it has helped him with social anxiety conditions.
After ten seasons as a tight end in the NFL, Bennett estimates that nearly 90% of the league smokes marijuana. "There's times of the season when your body hurts so bad," says Bennett, "and popping pills eat at your liver and kidneys. A human made that. God made weed." Medical marijuana, claims Bennett, is increasingly an avenue that players are turning towards to get pain relief as an alternative to prescription medication overdose.
If you could take 100 artists and tell them to make a picture of a stoner athlete, former San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum would probably be the image they'd come up with. Long-haired, goofy-grinned, and always ready to come up with a good interview quip, Lincecum made headlines in 2009 for being pulled over with 3 grams of marijuana. While that amount might not even get you through a day, it was nevertheless illegal at the time, resulting in him having to perform community service. However, because it occurred in the off-season, he was not given a suspension by Major League Baseball.
Do you smoke weed before playing sports or exercising? How have you found that it helps or hinders your athleticism? Let us know in the comments below!