Athletes and pot, often two separate things, but other times very combined. With cannabis still being illegal in a majority of states, most athletes are afraid of publicly talking about using cannabis. Even further, many of the professional sports associations will persecute anyone with marijuana found in their system. Most sports arenas are far behind the time on cannabis, but as with any group of diverse people, this does not mean the players are always listening to the league or state-specified rules.

Below is the case of the most prominent and famous athletes who have often toed the line between using cannabis while staying at the top of their game. The reasons for their notoriety with the substance might surprise you, but below is some great information to consider how cannabis has influenced sports.

MICHAEL PHELPS

One of the most highly documented of this list, it is likely because Phelps is a multi-time winning Olympic athlete. Where swimming is not a large American sport we spend time watching every year, there was something exciting when a few of our athletes excelled at the professional level that is the greatest competition around the world. The Olympics is one of the biggest pinnacles of athletics and whether or not is always the most popular sporting events, it certainly is a spectacle.

Phelps was caught smoking shortly after one of his big wins and from there, the story has gone off and on. Sometimes he claims to have stopped smoking and other times he has been spotted back on his path of potheadedness. While we all know there s nothing wrong with this, some individuals have had an issue with Phelps smoking.

For us at the Gazette, well, here is our perspective; good for you Michael Phelps. When you win as many Olympic Gold medals you did, feel free to smoke as much as you want. That is more than almost anything most people accomplish so, please, smoke away Phelps, smoke away.

RICKY WILLIAMS

Ricky Williams has a twisty professional story, and not much of it is related to pot. After his initial beginnings in the NFL, he eventually reached a place where he retired out of nowhere. While people watching the leagues were shocked, it comes nicely to know maybe he just wanted a break from the intense sport of football. Williams is a great athlete, but for our purposes, he has always been an even better and open advocate of marijuana.

Williams had openly talked about how when he played, marijuana made his body better and healthier, making him a better player. While with the Dolphins, he failed drug tests twice and from there got into a bit of trouble. For Williams, however, his choices were always related to self-care. Instead of using painkillers, he went for the natural remedy of pot. Williams has openly called out the NFL for their draconian stance on it, believing their rejection was always more of an image issue than anything else. Now if only the NFL would reevaluate their policies as well, maybe we could finally move into the 20th century.

ALLEN IVERSON

Ask anyone who follows sports, especially basketball, and you will likely hear countless opinions. Iverson has always been a controversial figure based upon his personality, general demeanor, and sometimes confrontational nature. For many, this was only further influenced by his 1997 arrest for the possession of marijuana, especially because he was arrested with a concealed weapon in his possession. Where for many, Iverson’s public uses and arrest for marijuana continued a narrative that he was just another thug, Iverson always delivered in his basketball career and people will always remember the tale of how Iverson was caught with cannabis.

RANDY MOSS

Randy Moss is mostly known for his ability to crush the competition in the NFL. He managed to have quite an illustrious career while in the NFL, but there were always parts of his career that drew media attention and a part of this stems from how frequently he was caught with marijuana in his system. Moss failed quite a few drug tests over the years and openly talked about his use of pot, but again placed the emphasis back on the league. When asked, he stated weed was always a part of the game, and he was not the first or last person to play who would be smoking.

The great case that Moss proves, that all these athletes prove, is that weed never slowed any of them down. Weed never stopped them from being in a place of productivity, extreme productivity even. Moss did a great job in the NFL despite his smoking, so to all the critics of the plant making people lazy, now might be the time to check again.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Who would have thought that someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger would be on this list? Most people know Arnold now as the guy who stars in action movies. Others do remember him as a professional body builder, hence his athletic stance. Many others in the cannabis arena will know him as a former California politician. Well, the reason we claim Arnold on this list is because of all three of the areas.

Yes, Arnold is an action star, albeit the recent quality of his movies and their potential to make you laugh on a day to day basis may have slipped. Yes, Arnold was also a bodybuilder which is great because, for him, cannabis was likely a nice relief to his body after all that he put it through.

But, most importantly, Arnold, when he was Governor of California, was able to achieve something many of these athletes did not do. What he did was reduce the charge for carrying an ounce of marijuana in California, starting the process to decriminalize marijuana in not only his own state, but many others.

Where all the others on this list are great athletes, Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the few who not only enjoyed pot, but did something about it! Kudos to you Arnold, some of your movies might make us cringe, but your work for cannabis is always applauded.

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