Super Bowl champ Chris Long smoked weed during his NFL career, and he recently revealed how he beat the league's tests.
Long explained his process to Fox News while visiting the cannabis retailer Curaleaf in Bordentown, New Jersey, last week. The retired pro-football player first won a Super Bowl ring in 2016 with the New England Patriots, then again in 2018 with the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to Long, he toked to manage pain and get good sleep. However, since everyone knew when the league would administer the drug tests, they also knew when they should stop smoking to avoid testing positive.
"You know when they are," he said to Fox News. "The couple of weeks that I needed to be off, honestly, the time I would spend off cannabis before my test, I was the worst version of myself because I wasn’t restful. I was anxious.”
Long cited his intense training regimen, as well as brutal games as a defensive end, contributing to his chronic pain and lack of sleep. He said he was anxious and irritable during the weeks he would abstain from weed due to poor sleep. But once the drug test was over, he returned to his normal, chiller self.
"Now, they’ve raised the [testing] threshold now, so it’s easier to get around it,” he continued. “But I do think removing the stigma in sports is very important. Like we’re removing the stigma in general. I mean, it's something you have to use responsibly. But it’s not something we should be afraid of.”
In February 2020, the NFL changed its cannabis policies for the better. The league shortened the drug testing window to two weeks from four months. The league also agreed with the players to stop suspending them for testing positive for cannabis. On top of all that, the new rules also raised the THC metabolite threshold to 150 ng/mL from 35 ng/mL.
Long went on to describe how he largely avoided alcohol during his football career and preferred to smoke joints at parties instead.
"I’m using it for social anxiety because I’ll go somewhere and everybody else is drinking three or four drinks or whatever, and I’m not really into, you know, going to a dinner party and putting 4-6 back," he said. "I’d like to smoke a joint in the parking lot before I go. And because, for me, that’s my 1-2 glasses of merlot or something.”
Long also said smoking weed helped him focus on his career.
“Really, it’s up to people to figure out responsibly and careful because this is powerful stuff, and it’s a powerful solution,” he said.
While Chris Long is hitting up dispensaries to promote regulated weed in the newly legal state of New Jersey, other NFL legends have already been cashing in on the nascent industry.
Retired running back Ricky Williams, who, unlike Long, was suspended several times for testing positive for weed, now owns his own cannabis brand, Highsman (a cheeky play off the Heisman Trophy). Retired defensive end Leonard Marshall runs a CBD oil brand. And former offensive lineman Eugene Monroe now serves on the board of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, where he works to destigmatize cannabis for medical purposes.
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