It's 4:20 on 4/20, let's fire one up for the sports heroes who smoke weed

It's 4:20 on 4/20, let's fire one up for the sports heroes who smoke weed

It’s green day!
It’s green day!
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With every 4/20 that goes by, sports leagues seem to care less and less about weed. As they should.

Recreational and medical marijuana is already legal in most states where pro leagues play. Plus, MLB recently removed the drug from its list of banned substances; the NBA will not test for it this season; and the NHL and NFL have stopped suspending players if they test positive. Hell, the UFC is even looking into psychedelics to combat brain injuries.

But despite accelerating legalization efforts and there’s still this assumption that marijuana and athletics do not mix.

Well, here are some pro athletes who beg to differ. Nearly all of them are retired, meaning they’re free to say whatever the hell they want about that stuff your parents still call “grass.”

Some athletes use the drug to calm pre-game nerves, others use it to deal with mental and physical pain, and some just use it because… why not?

This is just a small fraction, by the way, of the many athletes who use marijuana for both pain management and fun.

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Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson

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People made a big deal out of Mike Tyson smoking weed before his bout against Roy Jones Jr. last year. Who the fuck cares?

For starters, let’s stop pretending that weed is more dangerous or damaging than the actual sport of boxing. Dudes are literally bashing their skulls in as a career. If anyone could use a joint, it’s fighters.

That’s probably why Iron Mike smokes every day. “Listen, I can’t stop smoking,” the 54-year-old said after the 2020 fight. “I smoked during fights. I just have to smoke, I’m sorry. I’m a smoker… I never stopped smoking.” I, for one, don’t blame him.

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Shawn Kemp

Shawn Kemp

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In 2006, the legendary SuperSonic was arrested for marijuana possession in Texas. But a few months ago, the six time NBA all-star opened his own dispensary in downtown Seattle.

Upon the shop’s debut he said, “I hope that Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis will be an inspiration for people to get involved with the legal cannabis industry, especially people of color.”

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Eugene Monroe

Eugene Monroe

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In 2016, Eugene Monroe became the first active football player to call on the NFL to rethink their marijuana policies. He encouraged the league to stop testing for the drug and advocated for the use of cannabinoids to help relieve injuries and chronic pain.

Monroe retired at 29 “terrified” of the damage done to his brain and body.

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Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams

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It’s unfair, but Williams is probably one of the first names that pop into your head when you think “weed and sports.” Maybe if Williams played in today’s game, you would think of him differently. But in the early 2000’s, fans and sports media types castigated the running back for marijuana use and leaving the NFL early.

Despite the “controversies” Williams seems to be doing well. The former running back smokes daily and runs a wellness business with cannabis based products.

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Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson

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After leaving the game in 2016, Megatron admitted to lighting up after most games he played. He preferred weed to the pills NFL docs were doling out. “You really could go in the training room and get what you wanted,” he told SI. “I can get Vicodin, I can get Oxy[contin]. It was too available. I used Percocet and stuff like that. And I did not like the way that made me feel. I had my preferred choice of medicine. Cannabis.”

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Jim McMahon

Jim McMahon

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After a long playing career and a retirement plagued by depression, memory loss, and pain, McMahon found his elixir — medical marijuana. In 2016, McMahon was part of a large group of NFL vets who urged the league to remove marijuana from its list of banned substances.

The NFL’s new CBA from 2020 now states that players who test positive for marijuana will not be suspended.

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Liz Carmouche

Liz Carmouche

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There are tons of athletes hoping on the CBD train now. I mean, you know the hemp-based product (which does not get you high) is mainstream when professional golfers announce partnerships with CBD companies.

But a few years ago, Liz Carmouche started talking about the benefits of Cannabidiol, especially for fighters. “It helps me with inflammation, it helps me sleep throughout the night,” she told TMZ. “And, of course, with fighting you want something that’s going to reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and put you right back into the fight as soon as possible.”

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Al Harrington

Al Harrington

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“Viola” is the name of Al Harrington’s marijuana company, it’s also the name of the former NBA player’s grandmother. With Harrington’s encouragement she tried marijuana to help with her glaucoma… and it worked.

Now, he wants to create 100 Black millionaires through the cannabis industry.

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Leonard Marshall

Leonard Marshall

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The former member of the Giants defensive line was part of a 2014 study that attempted to detect signs of CTE in living people. Turns out, Marshall had some indicators.

He says he takes eight drops of CBD hemp oil a day — four in the morning and four at night — to reduce the symptoms. The cannabidiol helps him combat mood swings, eases his depression, and helps with headaches.

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Percy Harvin

Percy Harvin

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To manage his anxiety, the Pro Bowl receiver used to smoke weed before games. Antidepressants and other prescriptions just didn’t work for Harvin. He preferred the “natural way” to manage his stress.

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Nate Jackson

Nate Jackson

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The former Bronco receiver said he experienced withdrawal symptoms from painkillers days after receiving pills in NFL locker rooms. When he found marijuana, he realized it was a much better way to treat injuries and pain.

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Kyle Turley

Kyle Turley

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Turley recently credited marijuana for saving his life. After his NFL career, Turley battled suicidal thoughts, depression, pain, mood swings, and an opiod addiction. He opened a cannabis dispensary in California last year.

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Nick and Nate Diaz

Nick and Nate Diaz

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There aren’t many athletes who would say, or even admit, that cannabis is a performance enhancer. Apparently, the Diaz brothers think so.

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Tanner Hall

Tanner Hall

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In 2016, the freeskiing legend became the first professional athlete to be sponsored by a cannabis paraphernalia company. In addition, Hall partnered with the company to release his own personal brand of rolling papers and smoking kit.

You can follow the whereabouts of the seven time X Games gold medalist on Instagram @tannerhall420.

Yes, actually.

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Cliff Robinson

Cliff Robinson

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Robinson launched his own line of personal cannabis products, including pre-roll joints, in 2017. The former NBA player was a longtime marijuana legalization activist who passed away last year at age 53.

RIP Uncle Cliffy.

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