Sports' All-Star Stoners: NFL, NBA, UFC Pot Smokers - Rolling Stone
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The Biggest Stoners in Sports

See which professional athletes have toked as much as they’ve scored

Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 31, 2017 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Body builder, actor and future Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger poses for a portrait session on June 13, 1985 in Los Angeles, California LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 19: Mixed martial artist Nate Diaz poses on the scale during his weigh-in for UFC 202 at MGM Grand Conference Center on August 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sports' All-Star Stoners

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As recreational marijuana use continues to go mainstream, a variety of stoner sports figures have emerged throughout the years to put their foot down and fight for their right to get really, super duper high.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum’s appreciation for the greener things hardly makes him unusual among professional athletes. High performance sports and getting high go way back. It’s a rich tradition best exemplified by Dock Ellis, who threw a no-hitter while tripping balls on LSD. “The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn’t,” Ellis, who died in 2008, once said. In 2001 NBA vet Charles Oakley famously said, “You got guys out there playing high every night. You got 60 percent of your league on marijuana. What can you do?”

No one would endorse dropping acid before a game, or even smoking a joint, but off the field, it’s a different story. C

From baseball to the UFC and everything in between, here are some of the most notable potheads in all of sports. Now puff, puff, pass that ball already.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Long before he ruled both Hollywood as a moviestar and California as governor, Ah-nuld famously took the world of bodybuilding by storm, winning Mr. Olympia seven times. But in between his reps on the weight bench, Schwarzenegger partook in the green stuff, with the Terminator even seen smoking a joint in his classic documentary Pumping Iron. To his credit, Arnold didn’t forget his roots while governor of California with the state one of the first to loosen its weed laws under his leadership. 

Nate Newton

Nate Newton

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Nate Newton

While perhaps not the most well-known name among the Schwarzeneggers and Linecums of the sports stoner world, Newton very deservedly claims a spot on any list of sports stoners. Back in 2001, the former Dallas Cowboy (then two years into retirement) was pulled over and found hauling an epic 213 lbs of the green stuff. If you thought Newton learned to never take big risk after that again, well, you’d be mistaken. A little over a month later, Newton was pulled over again, this time with 175 pounds of weed. After shipping off to prison for 30 months, Newton renounced his hazy marijuana days, saying “I got on my knees and said, ‘God, I want to make a deal. …You protect me in here, and when I come out, I’ll do everything I can to make it right.'”

Bill Lee

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Bill Lee

Way before it was trendy or uh, legal, former Red Sox slugger Bill Lee (the Spaceman!) blasted more than home runs. Famously known to add weed as a pancake topping (it has a little more punch than Aunt Jemima), Lee’s stoner ways were so prolific fans would throw him tinfoils of weed at him during his time in Canada with the Expos. (in an understatement of the century, Lee says of the gesture: “It was nice.”) The cover star of an issue of High Times Magazine in 1980, Lee has continued to be an advocate for the sticky icky, even basing his 2016 run for governor of Vermont around legalizing weed.

Ron Washington


Ron Washington

Career Highlights: Texas Rangers manager who played 10 seasons in the major leagues himself.

Stoner Highlight: Washington tested positive for cocaine earlier this year — saying he?d tried it only once, naturally. He also 'fessed up to prior drug use, including pot and amphetamines, back when he was a player in the 1980s.

What He Said: "I made mistakes in my younger days. I want to get past it, move forward and get back on the field and start winning some ballgames."

Further Evidence: Had only 146 RBIs in a career that stretched nearly a decade.

By Josh Dean

Nate Diaz

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Nate and Nick Diaz

Stoner siblings and UFC stars Nick and Nate Diaz are unabashed fandom of the green stuff. With Nate, the dude went so far to call himself the “Number One athletic stoner – besides Michael Phelps” and has no qualms lighting up his vape in front of the spotlight of TV cameras. Meanwhile, brother Nick has become the ultimate marijuana martyr after years of bong-inspired braggadocio. (The guy even once told the Los Angeles Times: “I can pass a drug test in eight days with herbal cleansers. I drink 10 lbs of water and sweat out 10 lbs of water every day. I’ll be fine.”) Unfortunately, Diaz was not fine. In 2015, the the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for five years after failing a drug test in spectacular fashion. While it was later reduced, Diaz hasn’t been in a ring professionally since.

Ronda Rousey

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Honorable Mention: Ronda Rousey

In the face of Nick Diaz’s toking troubles, fellow UFC star Ronda Rousey came out swinging in support of her fellow fighter in a fiery rant where the athlete staked her claim as a pot proponent who isn’t afraid to say how she feels. “I’m against testing for weed at all,” she explained. “It’s not a performance enhancing drug. And it has nothing to do with competition. It’s only tested for political reasons.” You tell em, Ronda!

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