Clifford Robinson says the league needs to treat weed like booze
The NBA has a sticky situation on their hands, and it smells a bit like a skunk. That’s right, we’re talking about weed here — Marijuana. According to several former players, up to 85 percent of the league smokes cheebah, and former All-Star Clifford Robinson thinks the policies levied against the drug need to change.
The NBA’s testing format is a bit whack when it comes to marijuana. In fact, the NBA has the lowest drug-testing threshold for cannabis of all the major sports in the U.S. If a player has 15 ng/mL of THC metabolites in their system, they will fail the league’s test. Olympic athletes, on the other hand, are allowed to have 150 ng/mL before failing.
Robinson, who is appearing at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), thinks the NBA should treat cannabis like alcohol.
Just keep in mind that the NBA has worked with various alcohol distributors for quite a while. No one is saying players should be allowed to light up a burner at halftime, but Robinson thinks it’s high time for reform.
ICBC: What do you think the NBA’s and other sports leagues’ policy on cannabis should be?
Robinson: I think that it should be an impairment based policy. Treat it like alcohol. Just because a player has THC metabolites in their system does not mean that they are impaired, or that they are somehow not going to perform as well. These league’s cannabis policies are sometimes touted as being for the players’ own health, which is total propaganda. Cannabis is medicine. Leagues need to treat it as such.
Robinson, now 51 years of age, also noted that the NBA seems to be way behind the rest of society on this issue:
Robinson: The NBA has no exceptions for medical cannabis use, and no exceptions for use that occurred in a legal state. Look at how many NBA teams are located in states that have legalized cannabis for medical and/or adult-use. Soon Canada will be legal nationwide, including in Toronto where the Raptors play. If the player is consuming responsibly, off the clock, in a place where it’s legal why should the NBA care?
Robinson, who admittedly smoked throughout the course of his 18-year career, makes solid points, though some may beg to differ with his views. Weed isn’t just for getting high, as most of it’s opponents believe. People use it for all sorts of ailments, including PTSD, anxiety, pain management, glaucoma, appetite stimulation, and mucous membrane inflammation (the list goes on, but you get the point).