The legendary former heavyweight boxing champion has added his voice to calls for change in the UK’s drug policy to tackle the “growing prescription pill crisis and mental health issues.”
The Sun reports that Mike Tyson, 55, who has been one of the most influential cannabis entrepreneurs in the world, said “a fully open, fully legalised and regulated cannabis market would be able to help ease the UK’s “spiralling mental health problem.”
Mr Tyson told the Sun: “Well I will tell you, once it is legalised in the UK, you wouldn’t have to worry about all these prescriptions drugs driving everybody nutty and committing suicide and all that stuff. That will stop immediately.
“Definitely half of it will be knocked out once the people from Great Britain get a chance to participate in what we are doing right now; the wonder medicine.”
Mr Tyson has been very open about his admiration for cannabis and psychedelics – one time he said he smoked £33,000 worth of cannabis a month. He has also spoken numerous times about his use of DMT, a hallucinogenic drug.
Most recently, he told Yahoo Finance that he wished he had used cannabis his whole career. Instead, Mr Tyson said, he drank a lot, and that made him aggressive and uncontrollable.
He said: “My life was just miserable, I was out of control. I was fighting with everybody. If someone asked me for an autograph, I’d punch them in the face. I was just a mess, and then after I retired, I started smoking.
“What a mistake that was — I should have smoked my whole career. I should have smoked when I was fighting because it put me in this different state of mind. I’m very relaxed and the more relaxed you are, the better fighter you are – at least in my case.”
Cannabis still has a somewhat odd status in sports. While the biggest leagues such as the NBA or the NFL no longer punish their athletes for cannabis use, back in the day Mr Tyson had a match ruled ‘no-contest’, following a positive test for cannabis.
He has no regrets, though, and he also told Yahoo that psychedelics helped him to “come back.”
Mr Tyson said: “I broke [Andrew Golota’s] cheekbone, his eye socket, his rib — I should have been doing this from the beginning. And I said, ‘Wow.’ I got fined for that, of course, but it was worth every bit of it.
“I think of it as an enhancer. It makes me better, even in the ring. The punches don’t hurt as much, it has a lot to do with my comeback, the psychedelics.”
Mike Tyson is among the most vocal of a growing number of celebrities, sports personalities, and politicians supporting the legalisation and use of cannabis products in various countries around the world.