Browsing: Stoned Sports

Carlos HendersonOuachita Correctional Center

Upon learning that Denver Broncos receiver Carlos Henderson was arrested yesterday, January 14, on a marijuana charge, most NFL fans are likely to assume that such busts are common for members of the team, given Colorado’s reputation as a cannabis mecca. But, no: According to a comprehensive database of NFL players in trouble, Henderson is the first Bronco in more than seventeen years to be taken into custody for an alleged weed violation.

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Using medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription drugs for pain treatment has become increasingly common, especially in states that have legalized cannabis. Unfortunately for professional athletes who play one of our country’s most painful sports, they can’t use MMJ without risking their job status. But that could change now that former professional football players — a handful of whom used to play for the Denver Broncos — are speaking out about their preference for cannabis.

Shutterstock/Ana-Maria Tegzes

Using cannabis to enhance your outdoor experience is a great way to reset your inner hard drive. We should feel lucky to live in Colorado, where we can escape into nature for therapy minutes outside of Denver. There’s something spiritual about summits, hikes along rivers or even lying in fields of wildflowers that makes the connection between human and earth feel rooted.

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The NFL adjusted their marijuana policy earlier this year, raising the threshold of testing positive from 15 nanograms to 35 nanograms of spent THC carboxy for every milliliter of pee. While the increase no-doubt helps some athletes who prefer to use cannabis instead of pharmaceutical drugs to treat pain, the league falls far behind other sports when it comes to cannabis tolerance.
The threshold does make it easier to toke up during the off-season, but the increase of 20 nanograms doesn’t equate to a free ticket to get high all the time.

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Back in August we told you about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell and LaGarrette Blount getting busted by a motorcycle cop while smoking ganja in traffic and the subsequent (lack of) fallout for the two running backs. This week the two were due in court, and at least Bell has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on possession and DUI charges.
Bell says he wasn’t high at the time of the stop, though he admits to buying and smoking some of the herb.

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Clockwise, from top left: Mark Grace, Charles Barkley, Tom Chambers, Michael Beasley, Daryl Washington, and Jason Kidd.


Local law-enforcement agencies have had plenty of run-ins with Phoenix’s professional athletes over the years.
Below, check out our picks for the 20 most memorable arrests of Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Coyotes, and Phoenix Suns athletes. Phoenix New Times has the full list.