Calvin Johnson on pregame cannabis use: I was barely hanging on in several games during my NFL career

Calvin Johnson, affectionately dubbed “Megatron,” left an indelible mark on NFL history as a Detroit Lions legend. With six Pro Bowl nods across nine illustrious years, he secured a spot on the franchise’s all-time team. He also shares a close bond with wrestling icon Roman Reigns, beyond gridiron glory.

Johnson has always been in the spotlight for his outstanding play, but he has recently made headlines for something different. He caused a stir when he admitted to using weed to deal with pain management during his last season in the league.

Calvin Johnson claims he used cannabis for pain management

Calvin Johnson was frank while discussing his pain management during a recent interview on RG3 and The Ones. He candidly admitted to using cannabis to alleviate pain before games in 2015. This was his last year with the Lions before retiring from the NFL.

The ex-NFL star’s revelation came in response to a question posed by former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III. RG3 asked if Johnson had ever played any games while “high.”

The Lions’ legend acknowledged using cannabis, but he mentioned that it was only during his final season. He was struggling to cope with the physical demands of the sport at that time.

“Yes, I have. There were some games there in my career man [when] I was like ‘I don’t know how Imma make it today,’ let me get my mind right. It was like my last year when I was barely hanging on,” Johnson said via the Daily Mail.

Following his retirement from the NFL, the WR and his wife ventured into the cannabis industry by opening a medical cannabis dispensary in Michigan and Boston. He has also partnered with Harvard University to study the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis in alleviating pain and promoting healing.

The veteran played only 135 games in nine seasons in the league. However, his remarkable talent and contributions to the sport earned him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2021.

Are NFL players allowed to smoke marijuana?

Things are still changing when it comes to legalizing marijuana in the US in 2023. A significant number of states now allow for recreational use, while numerous others have legalized it for medicinal purposes. Nevertheless, marijuana continues to be prohibited in the NFL.

The NFL’s stance on marijuana use among players has  undergone significant changes in recent years. The league used to have strict rules about using weed, which led to player suspensions and disciplinary actions. The league’s policy on cannabis has changed over the years in response to shifting public opinion and legislative frameworks.


The league announced significant revisions to its drug testing protocol ahead of the 2021 season. The new protocol refrained from testing players for THC during the offseason. Players are now subject to marijuana testing only once a year at the onset of training camp. The consequences for testing positive have also been mitigated. Now, players are only liable for a fine equivalent to up to three weeks’ pay.


1220 articles

Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


Leave a Comment