Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant discussed the stigma regarding the use of marijuana among athletes and said he regularly smokes weed in an interview with David Letterman.
"To me, it clears the distractions out of your brain a little bit. Settles you down. It's like having a glass of wine," Durant said in an advance of the interview provided to Bleacher Report by Netflix.
Durant said he began smoking weed at the age of 22. His comments are noteworthy because marijuana remains banned by the NBA, though the league has not randomly tested players the last two seasons. The league's more relaxed policies on marijuana began in the Orlando bubble.
“We was blowing it down in there,” J.R. Smith recently said during an appearance on All the Smoke. “That was the only way you could really function in that joint.”
It's unknown whether Durant ever tested positive for marijuana; he has never been suspended for any violations of the league's substance-abuse policy.
Durant has partnered with Weedmaps, a tech company that provides information on marijuana dispensaries, along with reviews of the locations written by users. The future Hall of Famer said he wants to "change the narrative around athletes and marijuana."
Cultural attitudes regarding marijuana have shifted heavily over the last decade, with 18 states legalizing recreational use. There are only six states (Idaho, Wyoming, South Carolina, Nebraska, North Carolina and Kansas) where all forms of marijuana/THC remain fully illegal. A majority of U.S. states have either fully legalized marijuana or allow it for medicinal purposes.
Medicinal use of marijuana has become a major talking point among athletes, many of whom view it as a safer, non-addictive alternative to prescription painkillers.
Durant's full interview with Letterman will be available May 20 as part of the new season of My Guest Needs No Introduction. The six-episode season also includes interviews with Cardi B, Billie Eilish, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ryan Reynolds and Will Smith.