April 20th is a day of celebration for marijuana enthusiasts every year. More joints are smoked, more bongs ripped, and more edibles consumed than any other day of the year. 2020 marks the first year that players can partake in this informal national holiday without fearing suspension and major repercussions. These recently repealed repercussions still failed to stop other players in the past from blazing it up over the years. In honor of 4/20, here’s the 5 Biggest Stoners in NFL history. But first, a message from Stephen A Smith.
Honorable Mention: Martavis Bryant, LeGarrette Blount
5. Mark Stepnoski
At 53, Stepnoski is the oldest player to make the list, and the only one who has never failed a drug test. However, Stepnoski regularly consumed marijuana during his playing days when tests were less frequent and easier to pass. Stepnoski has been outspoken for the legalization of marijuana, even during his playing days, and is a leader for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
4. David Irving
Not everybody familiar with the NFL knows about David Irving, but if they do, it’s due to his retirement. After failing his second drug test and being indefinitely suspended, Irving retired, just 4 years into his career. He announced that he was retiring due to the NFL’s drug policy, specifically with marijuana. Since retiring, Irving has become a cannabis activist and even founded his own magazine, Cannabis Passport.
3. Calvin Johnson
Megatron famously said in an interview that he smoked weed after every game for his entire 9-year career. Johnson played 135 games for the Lions and never once was caught or failed a drug test. Since retiring, CJ has expressed his beliefs for the expansion and legalization of medicinal marijuana. Johnson and his business partners have plans to open up several medical dispensaries in Michigan, and Johnson also serves on the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association board of directors.
2. Ricky Williams
Until #1 on this list came into the league, Ricky Williams had more violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy than anybody: most, if not all, due to marijuana. Williams was suspended for the entire 2006 season, and when preparing to apply for reinstatement, it was reported that he failed yet another drug test. Ricky Williams has always been an advocate for medical marijuana and says he uses it to treat his anxiety. After retiring in 2012, Williams released “Real Wellness by Ricky Williams,” a line of cannabis products sold at dispensaries in Southern California.
1. Josh Gordon
You would have to be high not to put Josh Gordon at #1 on this list. NFL fan culture has defined Gordon as the league stoner who can’t stay off the weed, a fairly accurate description. “Flash” has violated the NFL’s substance abuse/drug policy 6 times, more than anybody else, and has received 5 suspensions in total. He has missed 60 games over 8 seasons due to substance abuse, including the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons, and is currently indefinitely suspended. The NFL’s now former marijuana policy has had a more profound effect on Josh Gordon than any other player, but with new changes regarding marijuana, Gordon’s chances of getting reinstated for the 3rd time are improving.