Considering the number of rules already in place for professional athletes, preventing them from taking a substance which is legal for a large number of Americans seems bizarre. That’s what most of you seemed to think this week as well, as our NBA FanPulse results show a vast majority of respondents believe the league should do away with its ban on marijuana.
After players like Wilson Chandler, John Collins and the Suns’ own Deandre Ayton were suspended to start the year, a discussion started up again regarding why the league continued to make its players live in fear should they take a drug that is legal as medicine for many Americans and legal recreationally in 11 states, including California, in which the NBA houses four teams.
Just 25 percent of NBA FanPulse respondents this week said the ban should continue. A full three-quarters of you said the league should end its ban.
Also, kudos to whoever created the color scheme on that graphic. A round of applause to our FanPulse data visualization team.
My argument above is not to say Chandler, Collins or Ayton were using marijuana at the time of their failed tests. Collins and Ayton failed their tests due to the presence of a diuretic in their system, while Chandler took Ipamorelin, a drug that increases the release of growth hormone.
Still, considering the wear and tear on NBA players physically over the course of the elongated 82-game season and the fact that teams will already have policies in place for overuse, the rules feel outdated. A player who wants to use some form of marijuana to recover from pain on an off-day should probably be allowed to that at this point. A player who misuses the drug and whose performance is affected by it will suffer the consequences by playing poorly or being punished by the team.
We don’t need to treat NBA players more strictly than regular people when it comes to making proper decisions with what they put in their bodies.