Steve Kerr: Marijuana 'Much Better Option Than Some of the Prescription Drugs'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 22: Head Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a play during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 22, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr voiced his support Tuesday for California's new law legalizing recreational marijuana. 

"I'm a proponent of it," Kerr said, per Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I do feel strongly that [marijuana] is a much better option than some of the prescription drugs, and I know that it's helping a lot of people, which is great."

It isn't the first time Kerr—who said he tried using medical marijuana to alleviate pain following a back surgery to no avail—has advocated for the drug. He also did so in Dec. 2016, per Letourneau:

“Having gone through a tough spell over the last year with my own recovery from back surgery, and a lot of pain, I had to do a lot of research. You get handed prescriptions for Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, NFL players, that's what they're given. The stuff is awful. The stuff is dangerous. The addiction possibility, what it can lead to, the long-term health risks. The issue that's really important is how do we do what's best for the players.

"But I understand it's a perception issue around the country. And in the NFL, NBA, it's a business, so you don't want your customers thinking, 'These guys are a bunch of potheads.' That's what it is. But, to me, it's only a matter of time before medicinal marijuana is allowed in sports leagues, because the education will overwhelm the perception."

That perception may be changing, however. In an UNINTERRUPTED video with Al Harrington in October, former NBA Commissioner David Stern said he believes medical marijuana should be taken off the banned list in the NBA. He also said players should be permitted to use the substance if it's legal in their state. 

Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns agreed with Stern's take on the matter in a November interview with ESPN's Nick Friedell.

However, the NBA has shown no indication it will reverse its stance at this point.

"While [current NBA] commissioner [Adam] Silver has said that we are interested in better understanding the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana, our position remains unchanged regarding the use by current NBA players of marijuana for recreational purposes," NBA executive vice president of communications Mike Bass said in late October, per USA Today.

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