Of all the potential rule changes we could see alter the NBA in coming years, one looms larger than all. The idea of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes in the NBA remains a hot-button topic and has only gained even more attention in recent months.
Commissioner Adam Silver has discussed the possibilities of allowing cannabis in the NBA for health benefits and ex-commissioner David Stern recently advocated for its use in the league as well. That came after Stern was staunchly anti-marijuana during his entire 30-year tenure as the NBA’s commissioner so it’s clear that progress is being made towards allowance of the substance.
One of the brightest emerging stars in the league also recently gave his 2 cents on the debate surrounding medicinal marijuana. Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns discussed the benefits of allowing marijuana for medical purposes with ESPN’s Nick Friedell and is strongly in favor of allowing athletes to use the substance to maintain their health:
I agree with David Stern with marijuana. 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. That’s something that Adam Silver has to do…
I look at it from my experience with it. I’ve never smoked, I’ve never taken a strand, I’ve never taken properties of it, whatever the case may be. But I deal with kids all the time at autistic schools, Reed Academy in New Jersey. My girlfriend has an autistic nephew, and you realize those properties of marijuana can do a lot of good for kids and for adults. These guys, just because we’re NBA athletes, we’re not super humans. Some of us have conditions that could use [medicinal marijuana] to our benefit for everyday living, just taking care of our kids and our families.
Though marijuana is still illegal in the eyes of the government, it’s becoming more and more obvious that cannabis has some clear health benefits to offer. Karl-Anthony Towns has seen the profound impact of the substance first-hand so he’s certainly a more than qualified voice to state his opinion on this matter.
With so many people now beginning to advocate for the legalization of medicinal marijuana, it may be time for Adam Silver to take a hard look at the league’s policies.
If it can ease the various physical ailments that these players suffer from on a nearly nightly basis, it’s in everybody’s best interest to consider a rule change sooner rather than later. It remains to be seen whether Adam Silver decides to make any official amendments to the rule banishing marijuana in coming months or years.