And Harrington now thinks medical marijuana should be available for use in another location — the NBA. And his view is now supported, publicly, by the unlikeliest of parties.
“I’m now at the point where, personally, I think it probably should be removed from the banned list,” former NBA Commissioner David Stern told Harrington in a segment for a piece on Harrington’s new business that aired last week on Uninterrupted, the multimedia platform for athletes launched in 2015 by LeBron James. (Full disclosure: Turner Sports, which runs this website on which you’ve stumbled, is an investor in Uninterrupted.)
“You’ve persuaded me,” Stern told Harrington, after the two had met a couple of times earlier this year to discuss the pros and cons of medicinal marijuana. “… If you told the fans that if the players rubbed it (marijuana creams) on their knees that they wouldn’t take a night off, that would really send it over the top.”
Marijuana has been on the NBA’s banned substances list since 1999. A first positive test for marijuana requires enrollment in a treatment program, along with aftercare testing. A second positive test results in a $25,000 fine, and a third positive results in a five-game suspension, with each subsequent positive test thereafter adding five more games to the previous suspension; i.e., 10 games for a fourth positive test, 15 games for a fifth, etc.
The NBA’s Executive Vice President of Communications, Mike Bass, gave this statement to USA Today’s Jeff Zilgitt last week: “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.”
Bass said last Thursday that this remains the NBA’s official statement