Ex-Bears QB Jim McMahon smokes marijuana daily for pain relief

by
Sporting News / Getty

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon revealed that he smokes marijuana on a daily basis to relieve pain stemming from injuries during his 15-year NFL career, including concussions.

McMahon joined former NFL running back Ricky Williams and ex-defensive end Marvin Washington on a panel titled "Cannabis and Athletics" at the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo on Sunday.

"I have arthritis pretty much in all my joints," McMahon said to Ryan Osborne of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ahead of the panel. "My head problems have been pretty severe at times. (Marijuana) makes all that pain go away. I just forget about the pain."

McMahon is most famous for his stint with the 1985 Bears, who went 15-1 in the regular season before capturing Super Bowl XX in resounding fashion over the New England Patriots.

The former Bears quarterback believes he has chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease that's afflicted many players and been linked to repeated head trauma. However, it can only be diagnosed after death.

McMahon said he sought marijuana as an alternative to painkillers that were prescribed to him throughout his career.

"When I was playing ball, there was all these pharmaceuticals they were giving you, which are not good for you," McMahon said. "I had to get off those pills."