In an interview with the Portland Trailblazers star guard CJ McCollum, National Basketball Association NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed his view that the leagues marijuana prohibition stance is fine … at least for now. The concerns he expressed were centered around travel risks with the mishmash of different state laws.
The interview on The Players Tribune covered a number of hot topics, but especially interesting were Silvers remarks regarding cannabis use. From the interview:
CJ: As you know I play in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, the federal law still criminalizes it. Personally, I don’t partake in it, but from a league perspective, do you foresee any changes in the NBA stance and, as some players would say, what’s wrong with smoking marijuana if it doesn’t affect your performance?
Silver: I don’t see the need for any changes right now. I mean, it’s legal in certain states, but as you know, our players are constantly traveling and it might be a bit of a trap to say, we’re going to legalize it in these states, but no, it’s illegal in other states and then creating a position where players are traveling with marijuana where they are obviously getting in trouble.”
CJ: The travel thing is a good point, I had never thought about that.
The league is not particularly strict now. In fact, there’s no threat of a suspension until the third offense in the NBA. Conversely, in Major League Baseball a player is suspended for 25 games with a second infraction. The NFL has actually moved to lower the penalties and players aren’t suspended until a fourth infraction, but the loose pay with their second and third and are forced into “mandatory rehabilitation” on the very first one. You can find a detail on the sports penalties on cashinbis.com here.
Former NBA star of the Portland Trailblazers, Cliff Robinson, has created a cannabis brand that embraces sports. His brand Uncle Spliffy embraces an athletic lifestyle along with cannabis use. While an NBA player, Robinson used cannabis, and the NBA is known to be a bastion for cannabis use among its players.
“It was frustrating and disheartening to hear that Commissioner Silver and the NBA have no plans to change the league’s outdated policy. What is the risk in allowing players to make the safer choice?” explained Cliff Robinson in a post on his website unclecliffy.com. “Who are the players harming when they use cannabis? … It’s time for a more sensible approach.”
Even NBA coaches are offering their opinions. The 2016-17 world champion Golden State Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr recently commented on the league rules surrounding medical cannabis. He thinks they should change the rules. He was also disappointed his message was lost in a flurry of headlines like … “Warriors Coach Smokes Pot.”
“Without being an expert on it, but I know enough, especially over the last couple of years having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff. Vicodin is not good for you. It’s not. It’s way worse for you than pot,” Kerr explained.
“A lot of research, a lot of advice from people, and I have no idea if I would, maybe I would have failed a drug test,” Kerr said further. “But it was worth it because I’m searching for answers on pain. But, I’ve tried painkillers and drugs of other kinds as well, and those have been worse. It’s tricky.”
Hopefully Silver will push more reasonable marijuana rules, especially concerning medical marijuana. It’s time one of the major sports took the step on marijuana, and with it’s marijuana tokin’ history, the NBA being first makes perfect sense.
Watch the interview below: