Last month, former NBA commissioner David Stern, who led the league from 1984 until 2014, made headlines for suggesting that the Association should medical marijuana "."
Stern, who was doing an interview with former NBA player Al Harrington, said "I'm now at the point where, personally, I think [marijuana] probably should be removed from the ban list," Stern said. "I think there is universal agreement that marijuana for medical purposes should be completely legal."
Now, the Minnesota Timberwolves' budding superstar, Karl-Anthony Towns, says he is in agreement. During an interview with ESPN, Towns said that the league should make medical marijuana legal for players to use. Via ESPN:
If you're commissioner Adam Silver and could make one change to the rules in the NBA, what would it be?
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, that's out of my control, but maybe legalizing marijuana. Not fully legal where people are chimneys but using [marijuana] as a beneficial factor as an athlete, as a person living daily. I think a lot of times fans forget that sometimes there may be some things that are banned that may not be the greatest for playing basketball, but for everyday living off the court, sometimes those things that are legal could help us.
Towns, who noted that he wanted to study kinesiology at Kentucky, also said that he has done some research into the issue, and believes that with the right use, medical marijuana can make people's lives better.
How much research have you been able to do about this topic?
I've done a little bit just because anything medical always intrigues me, just to see how the world is getting smarter about treating our bodies. There's a lot of other conditions and diseases that can be helped by using those properties that are in medical marijuana to benefit people's lives. I was talking to my mother yesterday about seeing studies about abnormalities in people's bodies and doing surgeries to fix that, fix those conditions. My mom's been working at Rutgers University medicine for 20-plus years. I love learning about different ways to take care of my body, so I'm always looking for ways that could help me be a better athlete and a better player. And make things just move smoother.
Allowing players to use medical marijuana is probably years away, if it ever happens at all. But with current players and former commissioners starting to speak out about the topic, it does seem that there is perhaps some momentum towards changing the NBA's stance on the issue.