Traditionally, marijuana and sports don’t exactly go together. For all its beneficial qualities, weed does not exactly enhance performance on the playing field. But what happens off the paying field is another matter entirely. There are many ways that marijuana can be beneficial to an athlete, either by stimulating appetite, encouraging relaxation or sleep, or even for unlocking creativity that may be beneficial for improving technique and performance.
While pot smoking athletes were virtually unheard of decades ago, legalization and increased publicity of the issues surrounding marijuana use have brought the attention of marijuana using athletes to the fore. The higher number of athletes who not only use marijuana but are proud of it as well, may also be attributed to the generally more tolerant public attitudes to the use of marijuana. Here are some of the most prominent stoner athletes in recent history.
4-time NBA All-Star player Rasheed Wallace may be most famous for his technical foul record (41 in a single season), but his spectacular performance throughout his 15-year career is worthy of mention as well. Unfortunately, Wallace also achieved notoriety for marijuana possession in 2002.
2-time Super Bowl Champion and 4-time Pro Bowl player Mark Stepnoski is much more than your average pot smoking star football player. He has made no secret of his support for legalization, becoming a vocal advocate and a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Rob Van Dam
As a WWE Heavyweight Champion, Rob Van Dam wowed the world with his athleticism and undeniable skills. He is also an outspoken marijuana advocate, although a minor possession arrest resulted in the rescinding of his WWE World title.
With a colorful career that includes definitive contributions that led to his team winning the 1971 All-Star and World Series awards, Dock Ellis is perhaps best-known for throwing a no-hitter while high–not on marijuana–but on LSD.
4-time all-star and 2010 World Series Champion Tim Lincecum looks like everyone’s impression of what a stoner is. However, his outstanding performance on the field is undeniable. During his first four seasons, he played over 200 innings every year, and contributed 3 strikeouts to the National League.
With a very respectable 27-7 record, the MMA star and former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion is a respected contributor to the sport. He is also a notable stoner who is known by the name “Captain Cannabis”.
Heisman Trophy awardee and Pro Bowl MVP (2002) Ricky Williams is just as famous for his pro-marijuana stance as his performance throughout his spectacular career. However, the former earned him a one-year NFL ban, which did nothing to change his opinion on weed.
He may be known as the governor of California now, but Arnold Schwarzenegger was a 7-time Mr. Olympia and bodybuilding champ who was a lover of the weed during his younger years. As governor, he also reduced the charge for possession of an ounce of marijuana or less to an infraction, from its previous misdemeanor status.
As 7-time Pro Bowler, Offensive Rookie of the Year (1998), and holder of the record for most season touchdowns, Randy Moss’ record speaks for itself. However, he was also sentenced to an additional 60-day sentence for testing positive for THC, on top of a 30-day battery conviction sentence.
With 22 Olympic medals (18 of them gold), Michael Phelps is an athlete that even stoners can look up to. Unfortunately, a tabloid photo of him smoking out of a bong resulted in a notoriety that has somehow eclipsed his athletic achievements.