NBA players: League should approve medical marijuana

By Oscar Pascual |

The Golden State Warriors put on a masterclass performance Thursday night to take game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals in Oakland — one of the nation’s most cannabis-friendly cities, where the local economy literally relies on medical marijuana to survive.

But while the league’s championship round will see at least one more game in Oakland on Sunday, the players themselves still aren’t allowed to consume cannabis for medicinal purposes.

It’s an issue that’s important to the league’s players, according to a league poll conducted by TMZ revealing that 10 active NBA players, all of whom wished to remain anonymous, all agree that the league should change its policy towards pot.

“How can you tell a guy with a prescription not to use it? They should be allowed to have their medicine,” one player told TMZ.

Current league policy forces many current NBA stars to keep their cannabis advocacy in private, but it isn’t stopping former players to stand up for medical marijuana as well.

Four-time NBA champion John Salley also talked to TMZ about medical marijuana, of which he’s come to be an outspoken supporter. Salley commented on a recent incident where league superstar Kevin Durant accidentally dropped a prescription bottle of medical marijuana while exiting a limo.

“If I were Oklahoma, I would buy a dispensary for [Durant],” Salley told TMZ. “Because he was injured the entire season. So the most important thing would be is to heal his body. Because if not, if you give the guy the wrong kind of anti-inflammatory, next thing you know he’ll have kidney problems. You want it all natural.”

The league’s current policy is the exact reason why 26-year-old Larry Sanders left a promising career as a starting center for the Milwaukee Bucks. His contract was bought out by the Bucks in February after a series of marijuana-related violations.

“Cannabis came later on in my life, and it was for me, used medically for some of the symptoms that I was having due to a lot of stress and pressure I was under given my work,” Sanders told the Players’ Tribune.

While the NBA’s drug policy is actually far more progressive than other professional sports leagues such as the NFL, the Players Association can’t open dialog on the matter until the next collective bargaining session in 2017.

“We represent the players’ rights in their workplace,” a Players Association spokesperson told TMZ. “If this is an issue that membership feels strongly about, we would address it during CBA negotiations. This is a players’ rights issue.”

Photo credit: Flickr.com/BayAreaBias