Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Ex-NBA Commissioner: Remove Marijuana Ban

Posted on 27 October 2017 by Louis Olvera

Former NBA commissioner David Stern has agreed to the idea that the league should remove marijuana from the list of banned substances.

Stern recently sat down with former NBA player Al Harrington, who has become an entrepreneur on the medical marijuana field, and discussed the role that marijuana has in the medical field.

Stern told Harrington for a documentary on the Uninterrupted, “I’m now at the point where, personally, I think it probably should be removed from the banned list.”

Of course, Stern’s words won’t change what the NBA does in terms of removing the ban on marijuana since he no longer is in charge of the league. But his former right hand man and current NBA commissioner Adam Silver has talked about the issue as recently as August of this year.

Silver told Reddit: “I would say it’s something we will look at/ I’m very interested in the science when it comes to medical marijuana.”

Harrington, a 17-year pro, said that he used marijuana as a pain medication for the last three years of his career. He would use CBD, a derivative of marijuana, instead of traditional pain killer medicines to treat what he described a “botched knee surgery.”

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If the NBA were to change its’ regulations on marijuana usage for rehabilitation, it would be an important achievement for the movement that is currently going at a fast pace across the United States.

Currently 29 states and the District of Colombia allow medical marijuana to be prescribed while 8 states have marijuana legalized for recreational use.

In the United States, major sports leagues have marijuana listed as a banned substance, but that does not always mean that there are repercussions. Associations like the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America,

the National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball don’t always punish players for using marijuana. The NHL only tests athletes to monitor use and in baseball many players have come out in the open as saying that fellow teammates smoke marijuana regularly. In baseball’s minor leagues players do get punished.

NBA executive vice president of communications Mike Bass told reporters when asked to comment on Stern’s words, “While [current NBA] commissioner [Adam] Silver has said that we are interested in better understanding the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana, our position remains unchanged regarding the use by current NBA players of marijuana for recreational purposes.”

Featured Image: Wikimedia