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Former Major League Baseball All-Star Daryl Strawberry doesn’t like seeing so many professional athletes calling for the legalization of marijuana.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, Strawberry thinks marijuana is a gateway drug that can lead to more significant addiction problems.
“Most people don’t understand marijuana is a drug,” he said. “… It’s just the beginning. Starting people off when they’re young and then it leads to everything else. … Most young people start off with marijuana. It’s a gateway. I started with marijuana when I was young—14, 15 years old—and it led me to everything else.”
A number of athletes—particularly from the NFL and NBA—have publicly advocated for marijuana as a treatment for pain.
Former NFL offensive tackle Eugene Monroe told Tim Marcin of Newsweek last April he began using marijuana to combat pain after realizing team doctors were prescribing him pills that were more dangerous to his health.
“Those are powerful drugs,” he said. “Many people who take them get addicted. There’s no secret: It’s one of the deepest issues in our country right now. … There’s really only one step to take. It’s to remove marijuana from the banned substance list. There’s no law forcing the NFL to maintain that archaic policy. It’s a simple change.”
Strawberry has suffered from addiction throughout his adult life, including failing two different MLB drug tests for cocaine that resulted in a 60-game suspension in 1995 and season-long suspension in 2000.