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Is James Harden in trouble for marijuana possession?


James Harden was stopped and searched by police in Paris after the vehicle he was riding in was pulled over, and the police officers smelled marijuana. According to reports, Harden was not arrested as the police found no marijuana in his possession. 

Harden's friend Lil' Baby wasn't so lucky and was one of three people taken into custody. Reports say about 20 grams of marijuana was found, which was enough under French law for police action. TMZ reported the rapper was released and that he will have to pay a fine. 

The arrested rapper and the Brooklyn Nets star enjoy a close bond. They were seen hanging out together with Kanye West in Paris, where they visited the Paris Fashion Week. If Harden is using marijuana during the offseason, can e get in trouble with the NBA?

Why athletes use marijuana

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NBA players live a rockstar life. They have the means, money, and connection to access recreational drugs easily. On the other hand, although the league still bans players’ use of marijuana or cannabis, other leagues have softened their stance on this subject. Due to the increased publication of studies that medical cannabis can help ease a player’s body aches, it is often prescribed for chronic and severe symptoms.

While cannabis is a relaxant, people have different opinions on its usage by active athletes. Recently, Team USA track star Sha’Carri Richardson was suspended after testing positive for marijuana use. In effect, her hard work to appear in the Olympics went to waste. It is the responsibility of any athlete to know what substance or food, or medicine will get them in trouble. Richardson, for sure, has her medical team supporting her. Testing positive for a banned substance sends the wrong message to aspiring athletes.

On the other hand, the reality is that many athletes use recreational marijuana but are not reported publicly. The middle ground would be allowing the use of medical marijuana according to prescription and allowing recreational use but with controlled amounts. Of course, there is no way to monitor if an athlete consumes the prescribed amount, but national regulations on its use will be here sooner than later. 

Given NBA's relaxed testing policy, we shouldn't expect any issues like these in the Association. 

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