In his keynote presentation, Ricky Williams tells his story of his football days and his relationship to cannabis at the Cannabis Life Conference 2017 in Toronto.

Ricky Williams is a retired NFL running back and Heisman trophy winner whose 11 year football career includes 3 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, 6 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, and 1 year with the Baltimore Ravens. 

He also played in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts in 2006 after being suspended in the NFL for cannabis, and he remembers during the press conference even the Canadian media was saying “It’s just pot. Who cares?”, which he found very refreshing considering what he went through in the United States. He was clearly happy to be back in the Canada, and he even had the chance to check out his old stomping grounds on Dundonald St. between Yonge and Church!

Although he may be famous for his cannabis-related suspensions, did you know he didn’t really start using cannabis until he got into the NFL?

Growing up in Southern California, cannabis was always around and while he’d partake occasionally, it wasn’t until his senior year in college, when he was highly stressed and couldn’t sleep because he was trying to win the Heisman trophy (which he did, btw), that he realized the potential of cannabis as a medicine when his roommate suggested he smoke a little- giving him his first full night of sleep in months.

That’s when he realized that maybe cannabis wasn’t as bad as everyone said.

He talks about how right now in the NFL, two of the biggest subjects are concussions and cannabis.

While acknowledging the fact that cannabis isn’t without side effects, he said that the biggest negative impact of cannabis on his life was based on the stigma. Experts say that his cannabis use cost him anywhere from $5-10 million, but at the end of the day, he says he had to ask himself what was more important- money or peace of mind and quality of life?

At the end, Ricky opens up the floor and answers questions such as:

“Did he ever smoke before a game?”

“Is there a place for cannabis in the NFL?”

“Does he combine cannabis with meditation?”

To hear more about Ricky Williams’ inspiring journey, check out the video!