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But the NFL has also suspended Williams several times for testing positive for marijuana. While the suspensions damaged Williams’ reputation in football, he has become a prominent advocate of the use of cannabis to treat pain and social anxiety.
The 44-year-old former All-Pro player told Fox News Digital in a recent interview that he started seeing the benefits of marijuana in 2002.
“I think I noticed that after I failed a drug test in 2002, and the NFL said, ‘Okay, now you’re going to get a drug test 10 times a month,'” Williams recalls. “So, obviously, I quit. I thought at the time it wasn’t a big deal. But when I stopped smoking, I noticed I was taking more pain pills and noticed I was more anxious.
“So, I started to continue smoking a little bit just to see if there was a difference. In this case, I noticed a huge difference – I recovered faster, and things didn’t bother me too much. It was reflected in my performance.
“I was taking more painkillers because I was more aware of the pain I was in. In 2002, especially outside of California, no one was talking about medical marijuana. Especially in the NFL, most of the talk was about cannabis, ‘Don’t do it’ Because it’s a drug and you’re going to get in trouble.” I started using cannabis mainly because other footballers on my team were using it and suggesting me to use it. So it was like peer pressure and consensus.”
Williams soon saw the benefits of smoking marijuana.
“It’s not what people say, because when I take marijuana, I’m not sitting on the couch,” Williams said. “I wasn’t lazy. I was reading, thinking and working like a self-psychic and working on myself. When Retired from the NFL in 2004 And freed from these restrictions, I started to travel and have conversations and read and realized, “Oh, they lied to us about this.”
“After that, I continued more and more research. It became clear that this was something that was considered medicine, something that helped people in their religious practices and better understand themselves for thousands of years. And only since 1937 has it been considered a negative thing.”
While Williams said he was helping himself and helping his body, it was odd that he was being disciplined for it. He has been suspended multiple times by the NFL, and was even mocked as a junkie by former Washington quarterback Joe Thesman when Williams signed for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.
“It was a little confusing,” Williams told Fox News Digital. “But the nature of cannabis opens your mind. It made me think differently.” “And what I realized was, the idea that these things happen to me — maybe there is a reason behind all of this. And that really changed my perspective. Instead of feeling like a victim, I realized this was a great opportunity for me.”
Williams said that marijuana use helped him reverse his thinking and deal with his anxiety issues.
“If someone has Social anxiety or any kind of mental health problem, The standard treatment is twofold. It’s usually some type of talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, and more often than not people go the pharmaceutical route. The idea is that there is something internal that is causing problems for the person.”
“For me, cannabis was kind of both. There’s obviously a chemical component. That’s why we call it a drug. But that’s what I call self-psychotherapy,” Williams explained. “And after training, when I would come home and smoke, I would think about my day and understand myself better. I would understand where those particular urges come from, things I didn’t understand very much.
“Because the nature of what cannabis does makes us more in touch with how we feel. So much of the world — so much of life, especially for me, especially for footballers, macho men — we’ve learned not to be in touch with our feelings. To put it aside so we can get done task.For some people this worked but for me it didn’t.Cannabis allowed me to be more in touch with what I was feeling.When I was in connection with what I was feeling,I noticed I was less anxious.Instead of hiding the problem, Cannabis helped me get to my roots.”
Cannabis made Williams introspection.
“Usually the first things that come to the surface are the things that have not been so well, the things about the day and things about the week, getting to know why you are not feeling well, not why that person is doing it, but why it affected me in that way?” The receptor state that cannabis tends to generate, it is easier to think and go back in time and think about other similar situations that have happened in my life and may have something to do with the reasons why I feel this way. I think the breadth that cannabis generates allows us to not hold onto things and see the bigger picture and see where things fit in from a bigger perspective and that sense of relief from “Oh, I got that. I understand.” he is strong “.
Williams launched the lifestyle cannabis brand Highsman in October 2021, releasing three types of flowers under his brand – Pregame, a sativa; Half the time, hybrid. and Postgame, Indica. He also collaborated with Jeeter to launch a live resin pre-roll and vape collection called “Sticky Ricky”.
All proceeds from the Highsman and Jeeter collaboration are donated to Athletes for CARE, a mental health organization founded by former professional athletes to address important health issues whether they are mental, physical or financial.
Williams told Fox News Digital that better education about cannabis use can help break down the stigma of a lazy smoker.
“I think if you look at our education system, we don’t really learn to think for ourselves. So a lot of times people consume cannabis and they have that spaciousness,” Williams said. “They have had no training in how to think for themselves and just want to have fun or just want to use their powerful senses to enjoy themselves.
“And there’s nothing wrong with that. But, as I said, if we look at the history of cannabis, people have been using cannabis for… their reflection for thousands of years. We think the fact that the kind of cannabis that generates this mindset is still there. We know it’s been He was raised for this for thousands of years. And people have long known and realized that there is something useful about this evolving and changing state of mind that allows us to take a different perspective on our problems.”
The 1998 Heisman Prize winner added that it is up to the industry to lead the education.
“I think it’s going to take the industry, and it’s going to take brands. The way our culture has been trained is that whoever has the best brand can trick us into trying something. It’s part of that long-term strategy and what a lot of people have been up to,” Williams said. Working on how to change the stigma.”
“When people think, ‘If I do that, I’m going to get in trouble’, that’s very powerful. And obviously there are people like me and other people in the industry where the industry isn’t as strong and the need for adventure is a little bit stronger but there’s a large portion of the population that won’t come close.” of hashish because of the lies they were told.
“I think it’s part of the job for the industry and the brand to find out. And that’s one of the main reasons I created Highsman because he created a platform that allows us to talk about cannabis differently. When I give interviews and people ask me about cannabis, I have to tell my story, and for me, part Of which is, “Yeah, I got fired and went through all this stuff.”
“But the most important part of the story is how I use it, how I use it to improve my quality of life, and for me, that’s something whether people agree or not, at least it’s an interesting conversation and it’s a different perspective.”