Pro wrestlers can’t do pills or drugs, so they use weed to help manage physical and psychological stress.
Professional wrestling may be a scripted sport, where the results come predetermined and the storylines fake, but one aspect is definitively real — the injuries. You can’t simulate jumping from the top rope or another competitor pulling your arm back. Wrestlers feel all the pain, both physically and psychologically, which is why those athletes struggle with addiction and dependence to opioid painkillers.
In response, the WWE established strict drug policies around pills. Should a wrestler get caught using prescription painkillers, tranquilizers, steroids, or abusing other pharmaceuticals, they will receive an immediate suspension and sometimes get booted from the circuit. The league, however, is quite lenient when it comes to marijuana and alcohol.
Recently, former WWE wrestler Enzo Amore shared on the “Talk Is Jericho” podcast just how prevalent marijuana use is in the sport. Amore worked in the WWE from 2012 to 2018, and now goes by nZo on the independent circuit. While in the WWE, though, he saw plenty of cannabis use behind the scenes.
“That’s the thing a lot of people don’t know,” Amore said. “Probably half the locker room smokes pot. And why do we do that? You can’t do pills. You can’t do drugs.”
The WWE doesn’t exactly endorse its competitors smoking weed, however. If a wrestler is caught with THC in their system during a drug test, the league will fine them $2,500, which Ringside News describes as wrestling’s “weed tax.” Many of the sport’s superstars can pay it, but Amore had to wait several years until he could afford the tax.
“I started off making $600 a week in the WWE for a year, so I was taking out credit cards just to pay my bills,” Amore said. “When I finally looked at my bank account, probably like 6 months into the main roster, I was like, ‘Do you know what? I can take a fine right now.’ And I lit up a blunt again for the first time. And, to me, that is my medicine, bro.”
WWE President Vince McMahon apparently enjoys partaking in marijuana as well. Chris Jericho shared a story on his podcast last month about a time when McMahon lit a joint in front of Donald Trump.
“I remember one time Vince told me that they were watching some concert or something at Trump New Jersey, whatever it was called,” Jericho said. “And Vince was sitting there with Linda, Donald, and all the heads of state, and Vince lit up a joint and Trump was like, ‘You can’t smoke that joint in here!’ And Vince goes, ‘I just did!’”