Former NBA commissioner David Stern said he is convinced that marijuana does have medicinal qualities and should be taken off the league’s list of banned substances.
Stern sat down for an interview with former NBA player Al Harrington, who has become a medical marijuana entrepreneur and advocate.
During Stern’s tenure as commissioner (1984-2014), marijuana became more tightly regulated in the NBA.
“It was generally known at some point, until we tightened the rules, that a lot of our players were smoking a lot of marijuana,” Stern told Harrington. “In fact, some of our players came to us and said, ‘Some of these guys are high coming into the game.’ But we began tightening it up, and at that time, people accepted the generally held wisdom that marijuana was a gateway drug and that if you start smoking, you’re liable to go on to bigger and better stuff.”
That perception has changed.
Stern said a series on CNN on medical marijuana helped change his mind. He thinks “there’s universal agreement that marijuana for medical purposes should be completely legal.”
Harrington told Stern during the interview that he used CBD, a derivative of marijuana, during the last three years of his 16-year NBA career to treat inflammation from what he called a “botched knee surgery.” [Read more at ESPN]