Over his 17-year career in Major League Baseball, Darryl Strawberry helped lead both the New York Mets and the Yankees to World Series championships. He won multiple Silver Slugger awards, eight All-Star honors and his jersey sits in the New York Mets Hall of Fame. Now long-retired, the 56 year old ex-MLB star is appearing in public not to talk about his baseball accomplishments, but to reveal the darker side of a career spent battling addictions to sex and drugs.
Most recently, Darryl Strawberry has spoken out against medical cannabis. And in a New Years interview with TMZ Sports, Strawberry called marijuana a dangerous gateway drug. And for that reason, the ex-MLB star doesn’t think pro athletes—or anyone—should turn to cannabis to manage pain.
Darryl Strawberry Says He’s “Living Proof” Weed Ruins Lives
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Darryl Strawberry’s life was in a tailspin. He was in an out of court for various charges, from missing child support payments to soliciting sex and possessing cocaine. Those offenses led to multiple MLB suspensions and in court, probation and community service. Over that time, Strawberry also fought an aggressive form of colon cancer, which led to his abusing prescription painkillers. His addiction to dugs caused Strawberry to violate his probation on multiple occasions, and he spent several years rotating between jail and rehab.
Looking back on those rough years, Strawberry, now a born-again evangelical Christian, blames his teenage experiences with weed. “I started with marijuana when I was young—14, 15 years old—and it led me to everything else,” Strawberry told TMZ Sports.
Darryl Strawberry says he’s “living proof” weed ruins lives. That it’s a dangerous gateway drug that leads to addiction later in life. Certainly, Strawberry has battled his fair share of addiction. In addition to his cocaine and painkiller habits, Strawberry also says he was a sex addict. On the Dr. Oz show in 2017, Strawberry admitted to scouring the bleachers for women and running off to have sex and party in the middle of MLB games.
Ex-MLB Star Calls Cannabis The Root of Society’s Problems
But beyond his own struggles, Strawberry told TMZ Sports he doesn’t think marijuana is good for anybody. “Most people don’t understand marijuana is a drug,” he said. But the ex-MLB star doesn’t think prescription drugs are that much better either, when it comes to pain. Strawberry placed the blame squarely on pharmaceutical companies for saturating the country with deadly and addictive opioids.
Indeed, the high risks of using opioids for pain is one of the major reasons why pro athletes are turning to cannabis as an alternative. Strawberry, taking the tone of an ordained minister (which he is), described America as “spiritually broken” over its dependence on prescription medication. But the root of that spiritual brokenness, Strawberry says, is weed.
So Strawberry doesn’t like the idea of athletes or anyone turning to cannabis as an alternative pain medication. In fact, Strawberry told TMZ Sports he thinks “pain management” is a fantasy. He says prescription drugs are out of control.