Despite cannabis’ increasing legality, many flagship sports leagues have hesitated to fully embrace the plant. The National Basketball Association is one of them.
While there are some telltale signs of a sweeping change, including some commentary from Adam Silver, the league’s commissioner, we appear pretty far off from any possible adjustments to the league’s substance abuse policy. However, the league is certainly more progressive than in year’s past. Silver was once adamant about weed staying on the banned substance list, but that narrative has changed in recent years, as the commissioner said he will re-think the league’s marijuana policy.
Many former (and current) players have pined for the use of cannabis in the NBA, including 2017 NBA champ Matt Barnes and ex-Denver Nuggets forward Al Harrington, who has found a second career as a cannabis entrepreneur. Harrington also plays in Ice Cube’s BIG3 league, which is now going into its second year of existence. Ice Cube, who is no stranger to the green, has certainly made his league player-friendly, and has, once again, managed to do something the NBA hasn’t—legalize CBD medication for pain.
Ice Cube’s BIG3 Basketball League Legalizes CBD Medication for Pain
While the league is still in its infancy, it’s made some pretty big strides. Their CBD initiative is definitely at the top of that list.
Although smokable weed is not yet legal in the league, CBD is a huge step for the sporting world. If anything, it serves as a happy medium for player’s clamoring for medical marijuana. CBD does not contain any of the psychoactive ingredients of regular cannabis, which contains large amounts of THC. With all of the medical benefits we now know CBD contains, the decision seems like a relative no-brainer.
Here’s what BIG3 Co-Founder & Co-CEO Jeff Kwatinetz had to say in the league’s press release:
“The BIG3 is uniquely positioned in professional sports as a player-powered league that looks at our players as partners, not property,” said Kwatinetz. “As a testament to our relationship with our players, we listened to their feedback on CBD, as well as feedback from professionals in the regulatory and CBD industry, and decided to take this major step to support their health.”
Ice Cube’s decision bodes well for basketball as a whole. The NBA is still evolving, and it’s only a matter of time before it follows suit. Sure, the BIG3 isn’t quite the NBA, but it definitely has “greener” pastures ahead.