NBA Player Karl-Anthony Towns Supports Medical Marijuana
NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns gave an interview to Nick Friedell from ESPN recently and said that he is in agreement with ex-NBA Commissioner David Stern about legalizing medical marijuana. Stern has said that the NBA should take marijuana off of its list of banned substances. He also said that it is now pretty much “universal” that medical marijuana has medical value and should be legalized. Stern had previously been against legalizing weed but changed his mind once he looked at the mounting evidence of its medicinal value.
The Minnesota Timberwolves player does not drink alcohol, has never smoked marijuana or consumed any cannabis products and is not advocating for himself. However, Towns works with kids who have autism at the Reed Academy in New Jersey and believes that they can be helped a great deal with the chemical properties from the plant. "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 properties in it to make a lot of people better.” He added that prescription drugs like Percocet and Vicodin are extremely addictive and pose dangerous health risks.
The current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been vocal about being open-minded regarding the possibility of changing the league’s drug policy for managing pain. But the NBA spokesman Mike Bass said that there has been no change in the league's position on marijuana in the NBA. "While Commissioner 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." Current rules require first time offenders to go to rehab and to pay a $25,000 fine for the second offense. Additional violations result in multiple game suspensions.
Towns also said in the interview that he would be working in the medical field like his mother if he wasn’t a baller. Towns studied Kinesiology at the University of Kentucky and says that there is a lot of research indicating that cannabis can help kids with autism and other illnesses.
Niko Mann is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles, California.