NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently said the league would not change its rules banning players from consuming weed. The comment came as part of an interview with Portland Trailblazers guard C.J. McCollum.
Adam Silver: No Need To Change Weed Rules
Under the NBA’s current rules, players are not allowed to consume cannabis. That holds true even if a player lives or plays in a state where cannabis is legal. When McCollum interviewed Silver, he asked him whether or not the league would change its rules in light of the growing legalization of weed.
“As you know, I play in a state where recreational marijuana is legal,” McCollum said. “From a league perspective, do you foresee any changes in the NBA’s stance? And, as some players would say, what’s wrong with smoking marijuana if it doesn’t affect your performance?”
Silver responded by saying that he does not see the league changing its cannabis ban anytime soon. Explaining the reasons behind this, he said that letting players smoke weed could become a legal “trap.”
“I don’t see the need for any changes right now,” Silver said. “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 players get in a position where they’re traveling with marijuana, and we’re obviously getting into trouble.”
Silver did not respond to McCollum’s second question about why the league feels the need to ban cannabis at all.
A Controversial Ban
The NBA’s ban on weed has come under fire recently. Players and coaches have both spoken out in favor of changing the rule. Many of them see the ban as unnecessary. In fact, some athletes see the ban as actively detrimental to the well-being of players.
For example, former NBA player and current Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted that he consumes cannabis. He also pressed the league to rethink its ban.
In particular, Kerr said that medical “pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C like it’s no big deal.”
Along with Kerr, former NBA star Jay Williams recently told sources that anywhere from 75-80 percent of all NBA players smoke weed.
Given how widespread cannabis use already is, and given how many players use it medicinally, Williams also wondered why the league continues to ban cannabis.
“It’s easy for doctors to prescribe you Oxycontin and look I was addicted to it for five plus years, so I know,” Williams said. “But when you say marijuana you get a reaction, ah, it’s a gateway drug.”
Final Hit: NBA Will Not Change Cannabis Ban
Despite all this, Silver appears to be doubling down on the league’s position. But support for cannabis—and especially medical cannabis—is growing throughout the world of professional sports.
Along with basketball players, a large number of former and current NFL players are also speaking up in favor of cannabis. Many argue that it’s a safe way to deal with pain and other medical conditions. Specifically, many have said it’s safer than relying on prescription drugs. But the NFL, like the NBA, continues to ban cannabis.