Storyline: Marijuana Use

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Critics say the intended benefits of these products are still unclear and unproven. But Lamar Odom says it saved his life. And Pierce says it helped him move past other addictions. “Just being an athlete, you get addicted to pain medications,” Pierce says. “In my case, I was dealing with severe neck pain, because back in the early 2000s I was stabbed severely. I dealt with a lot of chronic pain in my neck and back. I was trying to find alternate remedies for this. And it got to the point where I was addicted to pain killers or NyQuil just to fall asleep, until I came across what CBD did for me.”

Former New York Knicks basketball players J.R. Smith and Al Harrington made a surprise appearance in Albany on Tuesday to push for pot to be legalized before the plan goes up in smoke at the end of the legislative session. The New Jersey-born hoops stars were invited by Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo), who is the sponsor of the recreational marijuana legislation, with the suspected tokers lending star power to the dying legislation. Harrington told The Post that he and Smith had “expertise” in both medical and recreational marijuana and were pushing for black communities to be included in the proposed legislation.

But he now sounds far more open to revising it. Silver, in an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports: “It’s something that we are talking to Michele Roberts and the players association about, about what our policy should be. You might be surprised about it. But when I’ve talked to players about it, I think they have mixed feelings, some players. I think it’s not as much about what guys do in the summer. If they want to smoke pot in the summer, whatever. It’s legal in a lot of states, to your point. No issue. I do think there’s a little bit of concern about some of the pot smoking in-season. I think it’s a team sport, and I think part of the reason we have the rules in place, there was a time not so long ago when there were a group of players who felt – because, ultimately, the players association has to agree on any testing – that maybe there was too much pot being smoken in-season.”

“One of the things I’ve been talking more about in the last year is mental wellness of our players. And look, some guys are smoking pot just in the same way a guy would take a drink. And it’s like whatever. “Smoking pot, I’m just using it to come down a little bit or I just want to relax.” No big deal. No issue. And I think it’s the reason why it has been legalized in a lot of states. And from that standpoint, if that were the only issue, maybe we’re behind the times in our program. On the other hand, there’s also guys in the league who are smoking a lot of pot. And then the question is, why are you smoking a lot of pot? And that’s where mental wellness comes in. Because I’ve also talked directly to players who say, “I’m smoking a lot of pot, because I have a lot of anxiety. And I’m struggling.”

Silver: “And if that’s the reason they’re smoking a lot of pot – and by the way, alcohol is perfectly legal, and obviously we don’t have a ban against alcohol. We don’t test against alcohol, unless we have a reason to believe there’s a problem. But we don’t want guys to drink a lot, either. And I think if we hear that a guy is drinking a lot – whether it’s the players association, the team or the league – we’re approaching that guy and saying, “Can we help you?” First and foremost, we want guys to be in great shape. By the way, smoking isn’t great for your lungs.”

Brooklyn Nets All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell was cited at a New York airport Wednesday night after marijuana was found in his checked baggage, a person with knowledge of the incident told USA TODAY Sports. Russell, who was flying from LaGuardia Airport to Louisville International Airport, was questioned by police after a routine search flagged what at first glance appeared to be a can of Arizona Iced Tea. Upon further inspection, the can had a hidden compartment where marijuana was discovered. Russell received a summons to appear in court for marijuana possession.

A spokesperson for the Port Authority – the police agency for LaGuardia and other major airports in the New York metro area – did not yet have information on the incident when contacted Thursday. An NBA player would be required to enter the league’s marijuana program if the player “has been convicted of (including a plea of guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to) the use or possession of marijuana in violation of the law,” according to the current collective bargaining agreement. There’s no suspension until the third violation of the marijuana policy.
5 months ago via ESPN

Is the NHL’s marijuana policy the model of the future? The NFL’s CBA expires after the 2020 season, and it’s believed the drug policy will be a major discussion point. The NFLPA probably will argue for something similar to the NHL’s policy — test for marijuana, but don’t punish it — and it will be worth monitoring if the NFL agrees. The NBA and NBPA have had ongoing discussions about their marijuana policy, with commissioner Adam Silver seemingly open to reform, being quoted several times as saying, “We should follow the science.”

What do you think the NBA’s and other sports leagues’ policy on cannabis should be? Clifford Robinson: I think that it should be an impairment based policy. Treat it like alcohol. Just because a player has THC metabolites in their system does not mean that they are impaired, or that they are somehow not going to perform as well. These league’s cannabis policies are sometimes touted as being for the players’ own health, which is total propaganda. Cannabis is medicine. Leagues need to treat it as such.
11 months ago via MSN

It’s no secret that former NBA forward Matt Barnes is a cannabis aficionado, as he’s been outspoken about the topic since retiring from the league, and has become an advocate of sorts. Barnes played for nine NBA teams during the course of his 14-year NBA career, which ended on a high note, as he won a title with the Golden State Warriors in 2017. And apparently, Barnes used cannabis throughout his entire career, even dating back to high school. He recently appeared on Van Lathan’s “Red Pill Podcast,” and he admitted he smoked marijuana before every NBA game he played. “We’d have shootaround at 11, I’d be done by 12, back to the house by 12:30,” he said. “Roll a joint, smoke it. Take a nap, wake up, eat, shower, and go to the game.”

Brooklyn Nets star Kenneth Faried was arrested and charged for possessing more than 2 ounces of weed on Sunday … and TMZ Sports has the mug shot. The 28-year-old was arrested on the Montauk Highway in Bridgehamption, New York at 1:30 AM … after the vehicle he was riding in was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. A rep for the Southampton Town Police Dept. tells us the officer at the scene noticed a “strong odor of marjuana was emanating from the inside of the vehicle.”

Your winter meeting is Friday. Can you share what is on the agenda? Michele Roberts: “Not much. It will be a discussion of some of the issues that have been in the news. There has been a lot of buzz from the start of the year about medical marijuana. A lot of players are interested in knowing what that is all about, so we will have some conversations about that. [NBA commissioner] Adam [Silver] has revisited the issue on one-and-done, but there are some conversations we will have with the league about that. I wanted to get some input from players about that.

At 7 feet tall, Brad Miller’s adult life has been spent towering above most others. Now he’s working on a different way to get high. The former Sacramento Kings center’s new company, CHC California City, broke ground Friday on its cannabis manufacturing facility in eastern Kern County. The plant will put out 38 different cannabis products including edibles, water-soluble THC and vaporizer cartridges under the name Mountain Chief Products, California City Chamber of Commerce announced in a news release. Miller is the principal in CHC California City but will leave day-to-day operational oversight to deputy Ricky Mauch.

The plant will put out 38 different cannabis products including edibles, water-soluble THC and vaporizer cartridges under the name Mountain Chief Products, California City Chamber of Commerce announced in a news release. Miller is the principal in CHC California City but will leave day-to-day operational oversight to deputy Ricky Mauch. California City has emerged as a surprisingly pot-friendly oasis in the Mojave Desert, with 30 manufacturers or cultivators receiving licenses in the 14,000-person city as of last July, according to ABC23. Former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson broke ground on a 40-acre “marijuana resort,” half of which will be dedicated to cultivation facilities, on Dec. 20.

On Monday, California became the nation’s sixth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana through the passage of 2016’s Proposition 64. On Tuesday afternoon, Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed support for the drug. “I’m a proponent of it,” Kerr said after Tuesday’s practice. “I do feel strongly that [marijuana] is a much better option than some of the prescription drugs and I know that it’s helping a lot of people, which is great.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Tom Thibodeau’s reaction regarding Karl-Anthony Towns advocating for medicinal marijuana use within the NBA: “Karl, he’s got a lot of different interests. And I think it says a lot about who he is as a person. I saw [the story] briefly this morning and just knowing Karl, he’s a thoughtful guy. I don’t know how much he’s studied the research, but in terms of helping people and people that are suffering, I know that that’s the type of person he is. He’s a very open-minded person, he’s got great curiosity in a lot of different things, very thoughtful. So it was his opinion, it was honest and I don’t have a problem with it.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns believes the NBA should allow the use of medicinal marijuana among its players. The topic recently came up with the young star during a wide-ranging Q&A with ESPN. In it, Towns was asked what one change he would make if he were commissioner Adam Silver. “I agree with David Stern with marijuana,” Towns told ESPN. “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.
2 years ago via ESPN

For Towns, the topic of medicinal marijuana is personal. His girlfriend’s nephew is autistic, and he has seen first-hand how some of the new treatments involving properties from marijuana have helped the young boy and his family deal with the condition. “I’ve seen nothing but benefits for him,” Towns said. “And I’m very happy that he finds comfort. He finds that normalcy every day. Just like a father, a mother, a parent with a child, you’d do anything for your child.”

In a recent documentary short for The Undisputed, former Denver Nuggets forward Al Harrington said that a botched surgery while playing for the Nuggets led him to discover CBD, a cannabis extract that is used to treat inflammation. How I started using cannabis, is when I played for the Denver Nuggets I had a botched knee surgery that I ended up getting a staph injection. Ended up having to get four more surgeries just to clean the infection out. You know, I was on all kinds of pain meds. This lady that runs this university, she seen all of the medicine that I had on the thing and she said ‘Al, have you ever tried CBD?’ And I was just like, ‘nah I never really tried’ and she gave me a couple of things to try and I immediately felt the difference.

In this very fascinating 15-minute video, Harrington explains how he got into the marijuana industry including shops in Denver, Portland, and Detroit. He also claims that marijuana use is prevalent in professional sports, from the players, to the coaches, to the owners and that support for removing marijuana from the league’s banned substance list is gaining traction. He even meets with former commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, to discuss the changing perspective on marijuana around the country and whether or not the league is ready to soften their stance on recreational and medical marijuana use. Stern, known for being a very conservative, law and order type presence, gives a surprising answer.

Once the 2016-17 NBA season started, a “hurt” and “lost” Mayo couldn’t bear to watch, consumed by remorse over the years that had preceded his ban. He had “burned the candle at both ends [until I] ain’t got no candle left.” His “entourage” had grown too big, and he had prioritized “showing love to friends, hanging out, and finding girls” over the gym. He acknowledged smoking marijuana and abusing a prescription pain medication that triggered his two-year ban because it is on the NBA’s “drugs of abuse” list. (He emphatically denied testing positive for hard drugs like cocaine.)

“[Thinking I’m crazy] is an easy perspective for someone to have given the way I was living,” Mayo said. “I’m not ignorant. Somebody could easily fix their mind to say something like that because of my résumé. I don’t have a media rep or PR company making sure that everything is good, and I don’t go to social media with my problems. “But that ain’t me. I’m far from crazy. I’ve made some crazy a– decisions, but I’m not crazy. I’m good with myself. I’m comfortable with my body. I dug myself a hole, but it’s not a coffin. I can still get out.”

Yet, the NBA continues to prohibit its players from using marijuana. NBA commissioner Adam Silver, via C.J. McCollum of The Players Tribune: “I don’t see the need for any changes right now. I mean, it’s legal in certain states. But as you know, our players are constantly travelling, 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 travelling with marijuana, and we’re obviously getting into trouble.”

What are the majority of athletes who come into your clinic plagued by? Marijuana. Marijuana is affecting athletes that much? A lot of kids are picking schools based on the smoking policy because the rule can get you in trouble. The education for now has been changed because people are investing in buying drug companies, marijuana farms because it’s legal … It’s being legalized, but it’s still like nicotine and alcohol. It can kill you. It won’t kill you from smoking it, but it creates a big form of depression.

“I was young in the league,” he says. “I was using it to handle where I was going. I wasn’t really managing my life at a high level. That was helping me to cope. But in hindsight, while I was coping on a day to day, on a larger scale, it was hindering. Because there were other skills that I needed to learn. Now, being away from marijuana, I’m able to look back on it and understand it and indulge in these other coping mechanisms. I’m older now, too. I feel my brain’s more developed. There’s different things that, chemically, are put in place now, that make me, I feel like a stronger individual, where a crutch doesn’t seem as appealing as it did before. There’s a lot of value in me learning things on my own and dealing with issues head on.”

Antonio and his wife, Jennifer Speer-Harvey, own and operate Terra Mater Farms in Canby, Oregon and was one of the first eight businesses in the state of Oregon to receive a license to grow recreational marijuana. With high quality and a wide natural selection of cannabis (clean grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers), business is booming for Terra Mater and growing at a rapid pace thanks to 132 acres nestled away in Clackamas County. That numbers tell the story. According to the State of Oregon, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission initially believed $18.4 million in tax revenue would be projected within the first two years of annual cannabis sales. That was back in July 2015, when adults could legally posses “limited quantities of usable recreational marijuana”. By the time November 30 rolled around actual tax payments had exceeded $54 million.

It’s one that remains taboo with some parents and places restraints on options for Antonio making that move into coaching at the high school level knowing that Terra Mater and the business of cannabis is one many — even in Oregon — are still trying to wrap their heads around. Unfortunately, stereotypes are not easily uprooted, yet just as Harvey has adjusted to setbacks throughout his life including his dismissal from the Blazers, he hopes he can help bridge the gap educating people about the benefits of marijuana on both a recreational and medical level.

“I believe in this plant and how it can help provide relief to those in pain. I am approached all of the time from people wanting to learn more about cannabis and my big thing is to make sure people are educated on the facts. I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone, particularly smoking marijuana at a young age which I do not condone, but I do want to make sure people know this information is readily available to them and to make their decisions based on what they have learned. Take cannabinoids for example — they are responsible for marijuana’s effects on the body. That’s one thing I hope people take away from this….that you already have cannabinoids in your brain, in your body that are similar to what is found in cannabis. It’s very valuable information here we are sharing to those open to understanding.”

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson appeared on CBS Sports Network’s “We Need to Talk”on Tuesday, and he said that, like Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, he used medicinal marijuana to treat his back pain. Jackson had back surgery when he played for the Knicks, missing the entire 1969-70 championship season because of it. “I don’t know about it’s medicinal ability,” Jackson said. “I had back surgery, and the year I was off, I was smoking marijuana during that period of time,” Jackson said. “I think it was a distraction for me as much as a pain reliever. But I’ve never thought of it as ultimately a pain medication for that type of situation. I know ocular things, stomach, digestive issues and other things, I think it is regarded quite highly.

“We’re in a situation that’s in flux,” Jackson continued. “We have states — Washington, D.C., Colorado — have legalized marijuana. Those are going to raise issues. We also have a testing regimen that we go through in the NBA, so we’re kind of in conflict with what is going to be the law. I see that as a matter of a decision that — I don’t know if we can equate it to gay marriage or whatever else, but it’s a decision that’s going to be made by our population at some point. They’re going to come out and make that decision for us, I think, instead of legislatures trying to make the decision. I think that we have tried to stop it in the NBA. I don’t think we have been able to stop it in the NBA. I think it still goes on and is still a part of the culture in the NBA. I think it is something that we either have to accommodate or figure out another way to deal with it.”
3 years ago via ESPN

“It’s easy to tell if you have an addiction,” Lucas told ESPN. “If you can’t change your behavior to reach your goals, but you change your goals to meet your behavior, then it’s a real problem. So, Steve knew he had a back issue, and he changed his goal to do something illegal. See the violation? So, you run the risk of getting arrested. Well, you say, ‘I was worried about my back.’ Well, if I told you this was going to produce an intoxication, would you do it? No — there’s the answer.”
3 years ago via ESPN

Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson said he understands where Kerr is coming from but is concerned that Kerr’s message about embracing marijuana might be taken the wrong way by youngsters. “I think our rhetoric on it has to be very careful because you have a lot of kids where I’m from that’s reading this, and they think [marijuana use is] cool,” Watson told ESPN on Saturday after the Suns’ 138-109 loss to the Warriors. “It’s not cool. Where I’m from, you don’t get six fouls to foul out. You get three strikes. One strike leads to another. I’m just being honest with you, so you have to be very careful with your rhetoric.”
3 years ago via ESPN

Watson said he doesn’t feel that the coaching profession is the appropriate line of work for publicly advocating the benefits of consuming marijuana as a pain reliever. “I think it would have to come from a physician — not a coach,” Watson said. “And for me, I’ve lived in that other life [of crime and drugs]. I’m from that area, so I’ve seen a lot of guys go through that experience of using it and doing other things with that were both illegal. And a lot of those times, those guys never make it to the NBA, they never make it to college, and somehow it leads to something else, and they never make it past 18.
3 years ago via ESPN

Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson said he understands where Kerr is coming from but is concerned Kerr’s message about embracing marijuana might be taken the wrong way by youngsters. “I think our rhetoric on it has to be very careful because you have a lot of kids where I’m from that’s reading this, and they think [marijuana use is] cool,” Watson told ESPN on Saturday after the Suns’ 138-109 loss to the Warriors. “It’s not cool. Where I’m from, you don’t get six fouls to foul out. You get three strikes. One strike leads to another. I’m just being honest with you, so you have to be very careful with your rhetoric.”

Kerr was then asked whether he feels the NBA should deal with the issue in the upcoming CBA, which will reportedly be finalized in the next few weeks. “I think the league should look into the use of medicinal marijuana for pain relief,” Kerr said. “As far as recreational, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about pain relief, what’s best for our players health. That’s what should be in the CBA. And that’s what our owners and our league and our player’s union should be the most concerned with. And maybe part of that is educating the public about how bad some of the stuff our players are given for pain relief actually is. So the education is important and I think as the public gets more educated and people get more educated, there will ultimately be a policy that includes medicinal CBD, oils, whatever is best suited for pain. Hopefully that’s something that comes in the next CBA, but I have no idea. That’s not my responsibility.”
3 years ago via ESPN

Andrew Bogut believes the NBA should allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes but continue to ban recreational use. “I’ve never tried it. I don’t know how much it helps, but from what I heard from guys who are retired and have chronic injuries, they say it helps a lot,” Bogut said. “Like I said, you are bringing a big can of worms if you allow it [without restrictions]. If you have open season, you’re going to have guys, I guarantee you’re going to have people playing in a game or practicing high. It’s just the reality of it. You have guys in pro sports playing hungover. You have guys come to practice drunk sometimes. That’s how it is. If you all of the sudden can smoke, although there are a lot of positives to it, the downside is you could possibly have a lot of guys that are not 100 percent in the present. I think that’s why the league is saying what it’s saying. “But as far as it being legal in society, it should be fine to be legal. It’s a plant, it’s an herb, it’s a weed. … People that I’ve known that smoke, friends of mine, they’re the most chill kind of people ever.
3 years ago via ESPN

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said on a CSN Bay Area podcast published Friday that he smoked marijuana for back pain he experienced the past two years. “I guess maybe I could even get in some trouble for this, but I’ve actually tried [marijuana] twice during the last year and a half when I’ve been going through this pain, this chronic pain that I’ve been dealing with,” Kerr told host Monte Poole. “A lot of research, a lot of advice from people, and I have no idea if I would — maybe I would have failed a drug test. I don’t even know if I’m subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA, but I tried it, and it didn’t help at all. But it was worth it, because I’m searching for answers on pain. But I’ve tried painkillers and drugs of other kinds, as well, and those have been worse. It’s tricky.”
3 years ago via ESPN

The reigning NBA coach of the year went on to say in the podcast that he hopes professional sports league soften their stances on marijuana use, believing it is a better alternative to what players are being handed for pain today. “I would hope so, and I’m not a pot person. It doesn’t agree with me. I tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you got lot of pain, I don’t think there’s any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin,” Kerr, 51, said. “And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal. And there’s like this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine but pot is bad. Now, I think that’s changing.
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August 19, 2019 | 1:43 am EDT Update