KAT agrees with David Stern.
Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns said he believes that the NBA should legalize the use of medical marijuana, citing his work with autistic children and seeing that marijuana could help them function better in everyday life.
KAT's comments came during an interview with ESPN.com's Nick Friedell, who asked the 22-year old star about former NBA Commissioner David Stern's opinion about legalizing weed in the NBA. As part of Al Harrington's documentary, "The Concept of Cannabis," Stern said he would support marijuana reform in the NBA.
Towns told Friedell,
"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 [Commissioner] 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 made it clear that he has never smoked weed but still understands the benefits and believes legalizing medical marijuana in the league could have a positive impact.
"I think in the right context it would be beneficial. Obviously, everything in moderation. We don't have a Tylenol bottle and take six of them. You take what's directed to help you feel better. We have an amazing drug program for our questions, and we have great backing by the association who does so much research, and they do so much great work with that. Whether it's not legal, whether it's legal, they always do a great job of making sure that they give the players every chance to be healthy."
Currently, the NBA has a four-step process of punishing those who test positive for weed. The first offense requires completion of substance abuse treatment, the second results in a $25,000 fine, the third is a five-game suspension and the fourth is a 10-game suspension.
Al Harrington, who became a cannabis entrepreneur after his 16-year NBA career, estimates that as many as 70% of athletes in major sport smoke weed, and hopes that his documentary will help shed some light on the medical advantages of marijuana in sports.