Often when you hear former NFL players advocate for medical marijuana in their sport, it tends to come from non-star athletes. Offensive linemen, or second-string running backs. But Calvin Johnson, a.k.a. Megatron a.k.a. one of the best wide receivers in the 21st century, has recently entered the conversation and made known he’s a “true believer” in marijuana.
Oddly enough, Johnson admits participating on “Dancing With the Stars” changed his perceptions around cannabis, not playing nine years in the NFL. Being on the TV program showed Johnson just what kind of difference marijuana can make.
“When I was on the dancing show, I was using a CBD [a product of the cannabis plant] topical that my buddy gave me because my ankles were swelling up so much that I didn’t think I would be able to finish the show,” Johnson said. “The relief happened almost overnight. I was already open-minded to marijuana, but after that, I became a true believer just because of the experience.”
Johnson, by the way, made it to the “Dancing With the Stars” finale and finished third out of 13 contestants.
Now, he’s entering the marijuana business with his partner and former Detroit Lions teammate Robert Sims. Pending them receiving a license from Michigan, the pair plan on opening a grow facility as well as a chain of dispensaries.
“When I was finished playing, the prescriptions from the docs stopped. It’s a slippery slope when you come out of the league and you’ve got all the Oxy and Vicodins or whatever you have to manage the pain,” Johnson said. “There has to be a substitution and cannabis ended up being that for me, and helped my wife,” who suffered from Crohn’s disease.”
Hearing Johnson talk so honestly and positively about marijuana could change the perception around football players and the plant. If he can reduce that stigma as one of the biggest stars the sport has known, maybe the NFL would be more receptive to players using cannabis as an alternative medicine.