Kevin Durant is collaborating with Weedmaps as the league looks to ease restrictions on the use of marijuana. Durant’s investment firm, Thirty Five Ventures, plans to sign a partnership with the technology infrastructure company (Weedmaps has been described as “Yelp for pot,”) to bring more awareness towards cannabis use.
Cannabis use in the NBA
In recent years, there have been ongoing talks in the league about players using cannabis for all sorts of issues - from helping them sleep to pain management. The U.S. has now legalized marijuana in 19 out of 50 states, and the perception against it is slowly eradicating, although it still exists.
In the past, some players received stiff penalties and suspensions after getting caught using substances. OJ Mayo has not returned to the NBA, and he admitted to smoking marijuana before. Tyreke Evans also got the boot, but it was unconfirmed if it was due to cannabis use. However, the NBA has a softening stance regarding smoking marijuana as more players are getting more confident in admitting they are using it.
“Six different NBA players, who did not want to be identified, estimated that the percentage of active players using marijuana in some form – buds, edibles, concentrates, CBD oils, lotions, patches – was at least 50 percent and as high as 85 percent.”
There’s no secret that athletes use marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Instead of banning this substance, the NBA chose not to conduct random testing for the 2020-2021 season. The league officials will instead focus more on performance-enhancing drugs that players may use to take advantage of their opponents.
"Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA to suspend random testing for marijuana for the 2020-21 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse."
Mike Bass, NBA Spokesperson
It has been proven that cannabis eases the pain and tension of a player recovering from injuries and has a less detrimental effect on one's health compared to pain killers.Hopefully, this move by KD is a signal the NBA will soon approve the use of cannabis, a substance with a lot of benefits for athletes and much less downside than alcohol and nicotine, for example.
It's time to break the taboo and say something we all know is already happening. Your move Adam Silver.