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Famous Athletes Who Smoke Weed

Posted by Tobias Corelli on Dec 13, 2022

Is Weed a Performance-Enhancing Drug?

When we think of athletes using performance-enhancing drugs, we might think of generic steroids and a few MLB all Hall-of-Fame-rs (Looking at you, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Jason Giambi). With cannabis becoming more prevalent, accessible, and even legal, it's now part of the question when considering cannabis in sports. 

According to the USDA, “cannabis can be performance enhancing for some athletes and sports disciplines.” As of the date of this article, cannabis use is banned in all professional sports in the United States. In fact, and bad news for the athletes who smoke weed, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recently reviewed and upheld its stance on weed, confirming that marijuana use will remain banned in competition, regardless of state laws concerning legality.

Can NFL Players Smoke Weed?

Based on the decision upheld by WADA, marijuana use is on the banned substances list for NFL players. Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t NFL players that smoke weed, sometimes even on the sidelines. Here are some pro football players that smoke weed, present and former.

Randy Moss

Formerly a wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders, Moss admitted to smoking marijuana for fun. "I have used, you know, marijuana ... since I've been in the League…But as far as abusing it and, you know, letting it take control over me, I don't do that, no."

Calvin Johnson

Also known as Megatron, Calvin Johnson used to play wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. Since then, he co-founded a cannabis research company called Primitiv with former Lions teammate Rob Sims. Their aim is to advocate for cannabis use in sports. He realized that “Not only do we use cannabis, but we saw it for what it was, which is medicine and a natural way of healing other than what was proposed.”

Michael Vick

At one time the highest-paid player in the NFL, Vick’s been in hot water on charges of running an illegal dog fighting ring. Vick tested positive for marijuana use in 2007 while playing for the Atlanta Falcons.

Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams is a former NFL running back who played for the Miami Dolphins. Williams is an advocate of leniency on marijuana use in the NFL, noting that it has always been a part of the NFL’s image. “The fact that the NFL is on the positive side of the cannabis conversation is huge. We’re moving in the right direction.”

Jim McMahon

McMahon is a former NFL quarterback who ended his career with the Green Bay Packers, to the dismay of Cleveland Brown fans. When it comes to weed, McMahon says, “I used [marijuana] throughout my whole career…I've been using since 1973. Now that I know it's great for me, that's why I continue with it."

Jake Plummer

Plummer is a retired NFL quarterback who finished his career with 4 years spent on the Denver Broncos. Lately, Plummer has been an active advocate for medical marijuana. When it comes to the fight for legalization, he says, "I found myself leading a movement that cannot be stopped. There is no way you can stop a movement like this."

Eben Britton

Britton was once an NFL offensive tackle, having most recently played for the Chicago Bears. Britton admitted to playing under the influence of marijuana, stating that, "NFL games [he] played stoned were some of the best games [he] ever played. Cannabis cements your surroundings. A lot of people say they're useless when they smoke weed. But hell, [he] played NFL games [while stoned], dude. My performances were solid, and I felt really good after."

Kyle Turley

A former offensive tackle in the NFL, Turley claims that marijuana saved his life, stating, "Because I chose cannabis as an alternative and to understand it the way I have, it saved my life. It kept my family together. I have my wife. I have my kids. I have an amazing business partner and an amazing shop to craft this conversation into the light and bring it to the people the way it deserves."

Nate Jackson

Nate Jackson was a former NFL tight end before retiring from the Denver Broncos after injury-related complications. When it comes to treating pain, Jackson advocates for marijuana use instead of anything else. “Teams know exactly what their guys are about. They much rather their guys are weed smokers than big drinkers and partiers.”

Can NBA Players Smoke Weed?

NBA players find themselves under the same set of restrictions when it comes to smoking weed. Currently, marijuana use is banned at the professional level in the NBA. Here are some of basketball’s unsung heroes for cannabis advocacy.

Allen Iverson

Nicknamed "the Answer" and "AI," Iverson had his heyday as a shooting and point guard for the 76ers. Since then, he’s partnered with a cannabis brand to release his own weed strain named “’96.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem is famous for playing 20 seasons in the NBA, most recently with the Los Angeles Lakers. At the time, Abdul-Jabbar wouldn’t even “hang out with anyone who didn’t smoke reefer.” Maybe that’s why he was able to give us all those amazing seasons.

J.R. Smith

Smith is a former professional basketball player in the NBA, having most recently played for the Los Angeles Lakers.  Smith confirmed rumors that players would smoke marijuana in the NBA. “We was blowing it down there. That was the only way you could really function in that joint.”

Matt Barnes

Barnes played 14 seasons in the NBA, winning an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors. He has said that for “all [his] best games [he] was medicated.” Barnes now advocates for cannabis on and off the court.

Jay Williams

Williams used to play professional basketball in the NBA as a guard for the Chicago Bulls. Williams believes it's time for the NBA to join the progress on cannabis. “It’s easy for doctors to prescribe you Oxycontin, and look, I was addicted to it for five-plus years, so I know,” says Williams. “But when you say marijuana, you get a reaction, ahhh, it’s a gateway drug.”

Stephen Jackson

Jackson is a former professional basketball player in the NBA, having played for more teams than there is space to list. Not only did Jackson admit to smoking cannabis for the entirety of his NBA career, he believes the NBA should remove it from the banned substances list.

Al Harrington

Harrington used to play basketball professionally in the NBA and is now an assistant coach for the Cape Town Tigers. Harrington is also the famed CEO of Viola, whose mission is to build a multimillion-dollar team of black cannabis entrepreneurs.

Cliff Robinson

Robinson was once a professional basketball player in the NBA, having played most notably for the Portland Trail Blazers. In his life, Robinson also advocated for cannabis and aimed to “knock down the myth that athletes and cannabis don't mix.”

Can MLB Players Smoke Weed?

Much like other major sports leagues here, the MLB does not allow for the use of cannabis, and was marijuana listed in its banned substance list, while they have looked the other way when it comes to other substances in the past (Looking at you again, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Jason Giambi). Until there are new developments in legalization, this probably will not change any time soon.

Why Are Cannabinoids Banned in Sports?

Based on studies performed on animals and some limited studies involving humans, cannabis has been shown to be enhancing when it comes to performance on the field or court. To keep things fair, cannabis is not allowed to be used by major league professional athletes, carrying with it fines, penalties, and even suspension of play as possible consequences. So, while the cannabis we offer at our dispensary near O'Hare is legal for medical and recreational consumption, you may want to think twice if you're an athlete in the big leagues.

Nevertheless, cannabis advocates will continue to fight the good fight – especially when there are famous professional athletes willing to stand in solidarity and show support for their favorite medicinal plant. 

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