Former NBA Commissioner David Stern has backed the NBA changing its rules on medical marijuana. Current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has an open mind on the subject. In a league where painkillers and anti-inflammatories are almost as common as Skittles, could a natural, more herbal substance do the job with fewer side effects?
“I agree with David Stern with marijuana. You don’t have to actually make it “Mary J” (or) “Half Baked.” You don’t have to do it like that, but you could use the [chemical] properties in it to make a lot of people better. That’s something that Adam Silver has to do, that’s out of my control, but maybe legalizing marijuana. Not fully legal where people are chimneys but using it as a beneficial factor as an athlete, as a person living daily. I think a lot of times fans forget that sometimes there may be some things that are banned that may not be the greatest for playing basketball, but for everyday living off the court, sometimes those things that are legal could help us.”
He’s right, and on the right side of history with this one. Society is evolving toward marijuana legalization, look at any poll on legalization broken down by age and you can see where things are headed. Professional sports leagues are going to have to deal with it.
Right now a change in the rules presents challenges, even if used medicinally. It would be legal for a player taking on the Warriors (California) or Nuggets (Colorado) to use, but bring that medicine when said player travels to face the Thunder (Oklahoma) or Spurs (Texas), and the rules are different. The NBA doesn’t want to see its players arrested at airports for possession.
This will need to be collectively bargained with the union, but it will happen. Eventually. Whether it is during Towns’ playing career, that’s a good question.