Former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson said during his six years in the NFL he avoided the opiate pain killers that have wrecked the lives of so many former players.
Instead, Jackson self-medicated with marijuana.
Jackson said he never smoked marijuana before games or practices, but said it did help him recover afterward. He also said marijuana never affected his play and actually helped him because he visualized himself making plays when he was high, calling it a “performance-inspiring drug.”
“Michael Phelps is the best swimmer that the Earth has ever produced by far. And he smokes weed,” Jackson said, via The Associated Press. “That should tell us something.”
During a cannabis industry expo in Denver called “Sports, Meds and Money,” Jackson said the NFL will have no choice but to legalize the use of marijuana in the near future.
“I feel like I exited the game with my mind intact. And I credit that to marijuana in a lot of ways and not getting hooked on these pain pills that are recklessly distributed in the league when a guy gets an injury,” Jackson said. “It kept my brain clean.”
Jackson said he believes most NFL players already use marijuana since they’re only tested once a year — and the league knows it.
“They’re aware that probably over half of their players smoke weed. They’ve been doing it since they were teenagers. The fact that they’ve been doing it that whole time and still made it to the NFL and are able to satisfy the demands of very, very strict employers on a daily basis means that their marijuana use is in check,” Jackson said. “Marijuana is not a problem in their lives.”