Earlier this week, NBA commissioner and BAMF Adam Silver dropped some knowledge regarding how the National Bong Association might look at weed in the very near future. And it’s got the likes of JR Smith and company seeing green:
“I would say it’s something we will look at,” Silver said. ” I’m very interested in the science when it comes to medical marijuana. My personal view is that it should be regulated in the same way that other medications are if the plan is to use it for pain management. And it’s something that needs to be discussed with our Players Association, but to the extent that science demonstrates that there are effective uses for medical reasons, we’ll be open to it. Hopefully there’s not as much pain involved in our sport as some others, so there’s not as much need for it.” [Uproxx]
The key words are “pain management.” Only letting players smoke for strict medical reasons is bullshit. Getting high after (or before) a game is way safer than popping Percocet or drinking alcohol. If a player gets caught smoking weed or riding dirty (a la Zach Randolph), why should that affect their status in the NBA–especially if they play in a legal state.
Unlike the NFL (also looking at medical weed), the NBA rarely suspends players for smoking up. You have to be a really serious stoner like Larry Sanders or Michael Beasley to even come close to getting nipped in the bud.
That said, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen anytime soon–or until marijuana is federally decriminalized or legalized. The commissioner told Portland Trailblazer CJ McCollum on his radio show that the biggest issue is traveling with weed:
“I don’t see the need for any changes right now,” Silver told McCollum. “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.”
But…NBA players typically travel on private planes, and the odds of one getting in any serious “trouble” for having a medical marijuana prescription are slim.
Legal weed is coming to both the NBA and the NFL. It’s a matter of time. Unfortunately, both league’s fates are ultimately tied to the federal status of weed and what doctors say about weed.
Given who our president is and the climate of our country that scenario is likely another term away.