As Jacquelynn Powers Maurice noted for the New York Post last November, former heavyweight boxing champion and once, “Baddest Man on the Planet” Mike Tyson has openly discussed his previous drug use and other outside-the-ring issues. Tyson is currently working on facing a different opponent, and it’s one that has impacted the lives of thousands upon thousands of Americans.
Per The Post’s Erich Richter, Tyson was at the brand-new Apothecarium cannabis dispensary in Lodi, NJ, last Saturday to promote his Tyson 2.0 products and stress the use of cannabis-related products over opiates. Recreational use of cannabis is legal in the Garden State.
“Cannabis and other plant medicine have helped me get to this point where I am who I want to be,” Tyson explained about the current state of his mental health. “It all comes down to your mind and your head. Your mind and head can be the worst neighborhood in the history of the world.”
Arturo Gatti, an old friend of Tyson’s from New Jersey, struggled with drug use and took his own life at the age of 37 in 2009.
“Arturo started with his broken hands,” said Mario Costa, a longtime friend of Tyson’s who owns the Ringside Lounge in Jersey City. “They took a bone from his hip and put it in his hand, so they started with the Percocet. Mike would never take that because of Cus [D’Amato] his mentor [would never allow it]. Arturo got addicted. He used to say his breakfast was three Percocet.”
Tyson can poke some fun at himself these days, as the “Mike Bites” edibles found on the Tyson 2.0 website are shaped like an ear with a piece bitten off in reference to the June 1997 bout in which he famously bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear.