A former pro football star and an advocate for athlete marijuana use have teamed up to open a gym in San Francisco that they say will be one of the first in the world to allow members to smoke pot while working out, the AP reports. Former running back Ricky Williams, who played for the Saints, Dolphins, and Ravens, and Jim McAlpine, a snowboard company executive, say Power Plant Fitness also will offer edibles and topical gels for those who don't like smoking the plant. They say using pot while exercising can help them focus or relax. Members of the gym, which plans to open this year, will need a medical marijuana prescription to join—but that could change if California voters legalize recreational pot in November.
"I personally use it for focus. It's not about getting high. It's about keeping my mind engaged in the activity I'm in," says McAlpine, who organizes the 420 Games. Williams, who was suspended several times by the NFL for marijuana use, said he wants to dispel the stigma. "I think a lot of people buy into the stoner stereotype where guys just sit on the couch, smoke and don't do anything, and they're not very motivated," said Williams, who retired from the NFL after the 2011 season. "I found when I was playing football that using cannabis helped me relax physically, relax mentally, and even spiritually." (New research suggests marijuana could be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease.)