It was always known there is a certain percentage of NBA players smoking cannabis during their careers. The NBA used to be really tight about these regulations and players were constantly tested on using substances that weren’t just drugs.
David Stern who served as the NBA commissioner for over 3 decades recently spoke about the whole issue of players smoking, even sometimes prior to the games. This resulted in a more rigorous control which ended up being contra productive.
“I would say that it was generally known at some point, that a lot of our players were actually smoking a lot of marijuana. In fact, some of our players came to us and said that some of these guys were high coming into the game but we began tightening it up and at that time people accepted generally held wisdom that marijuana is a gateway drug and that if you start smoking you are reliable to go on to bigger and better stuff.”
As the years went on the additional research and a change in perception about the use of cannabis influenced the league as well. People got educated properly which influenced opinions to change. Stern himself said a different perception enabled people to speak out and raise the benefits of the plant.
“It’s a completely different perception. Although the leagues have been slow to adjust and appropriately so and myself I’ve been influenced by CNN’s series saying that laws against marijuana are crazy. Particularly medical marijuana is something that should be encouraged rather than prohibited. I think pretty smart people don’t know what is right and what is not right but I think there is this universal agreement that marijuana for medical purposes should be completely legal.”