As both medicinal and recreational cannabis continue to slowly intertwine with mainstream society, an increasing amount of prominent figureheads, celebrities and athletes have come forward with their advocation for the plant. Shannon Briggs, a former world heavyweight boxing champion, falls under the latter category—a well-known athlete vying for the usage of weed in their respective sport.
However, Briggs’ case is that of a different animal. He isn’t just lobbying for the usage of weed for ‘relaxation’ purposes. Or as an alternative to clubbing or partying. He claims that cannabis actually saved his life.
Shannon Briggs Credits Cannabis For Career Resurgence
The 46-year-old Briggs is expected to make another boxing comeback, fighting heavyweight trash-talker and embattled former champ Tyson Fury, barring the latter gets his boxing license reinstated. However, according to Briggs, his comeback story might not have gotten legs had it not been for cannabis.
After losing to Vitali Klitschko back in 2010, Briggs thought he was finished. He was deeply depressed and no longer interested in fighting. However, that has since changed course and Briggs is fixated on capturing the heavyweight title for the third time in his illustrious career.
“I wanted to kill myself. But here I am… I am in great shape. I’m going to become heavyweight champion of the world for the third time and the whole world is going to be saying let’s go champ! What’s better than that?” Briggs said to UPI.com.
Briggs said that he was originally prescribed a cocktail of prescription drugs to combat his depressive state, before turning to cannabis, which he ultimately credits for saving his life.
“It’s brutal. Sixty-four thousand died, when we have a natural cannabis plant that can save lives and get people off of heroin addiction and here we are not using it. Give the people what they need. The people need hemp. They need the cannabis plant to get off of heroin,” Briggs pleaded. “And naturally prescribed drugs OxyContin and these different pain relievers that get people addicted, man. I was prescribed Cerritos … Xanax, Zoloft. They ballooned me up to 400 pounds. I wanted to kill myself, but fortunately, this plant saved my life. Why is it not being sold to the world?”
Briggs has his own theory as to why cannabis isn’t accessible to the masses as he believes it should.
“Big pharma must be involved. We gotta stop this. We gotta come together and save lives,” pleaded Briggs.
Final Hit: Boxing Champion Shannon Briggs Says Cannabis Saved His Life
While Briggs sentiments regarding cannabis delve deep into the depths of his personal life, he’s hardly the first athlete to express them, and certainly not the last.
Stephen Jackson recently advocated for the legalization of pot in the NBA, albeit in a much more playful manner. Jackson claimed to have smoked every day during his NBA tenure, with no ill side effects.
Additionally, former NBA commissioner David Stern and another former NBAer Al Harrington spoke at length about how the league should re-consider its marijuana policy. Incumbent commissioner Adam Silver has remarked he is willing to consider allowing medicinal cannabis in the league as a rehabilitation tool.
While we may be ways off from seeing cannabis in any major sporting leagues, especially considering Jeff Sessions’ latest marijuana witch hunt, there’s no shortage of former athletes, coaches and figureheads clamoring for a change. If brave athletes like Shannon Briggs continue to tell their own miracle stories regarding the plant, perhaps a day of major change could come sooner than we thought.