CHICAGO (WLS) --
Bears legend Jim McMahon says medical marijuana got him off a heavy prescription pill habit.
"I'm old fashioned. I like to put it in my pipe and smoke it," McMahon said.
McMahon was in town this week for the 30th anniversary of the 1985 Super Bowl win. In an exclusive television interview with ABC7'S Ron Magers, McMahon says fighting pain has been a constant battle since his playing days.
"Back then it was painkillers. I played my whole career on painkillers," he said.
McMahon played a style of football described as "giving up his body" - a body that now gives him constant pain.
"My shoulders, my elbows, my knees. My hands are going bad now so it would be a struggle to get through the day without anything, that's for sure," he said.
The "anything" to help him used to be prescription pain pills, but no longer.
"I quit all that cold turkey and I moved out to Arizona and I got my medical marijuana license. It's a lot easier on my body and I can get through a day without a problem. It doesn't have any side effects. You don't get constipated, you don't get woozy and feeling weird. For me it works," McMahon said.
It works for him in Arizona, but not Illinois. The dispensaries being set up in Illinois may issue marijuana only to patients with specific and limited medical conditions. McMahon has arthritis, which is not an approved condition in Illinois. He also has constant pain - which is an approved use in some other states - but not Illinois.Though McMahon loves Chicago, he'll stay in Arizona.
"I had to get off those pills and this is the perfect answer for me," McMahon said.
An advisory board is recommending adding the chronic pain McMahon suffers and seven other conditions to the marijuana eligibility list in Illinois. The recommendation is now in the hands of Gov. Bruce…Continue