The push for legalization of CBD in the NBA

The introduction of the Farm Bill by the US government led to a marked change in cannabis advocacy. The change has led to the call for a gradual shift and softening of a hitherto hard stance in most sports circles, especially the NBA. 

Although cannabis is still considered illegal by the federal government, cannabis products with low THC levels and medicinal cannabis have become legal. With the legalization of products such as hemp, this is a clear upward shift.

In the face of these changes, all cannabis products remain illegal in sporting circles, precisely the NBA, even though cannabis contains CBD, one of its main components, which is highly medicinal.

Additionally, CBD is non-intoxicating and has pain-relieving and healing properties. Therefore, with the NBA being a physical sport that results in painful injuries, CBD usage would be apt to alleviate the pain. 

The clarion call to allow its acceptability is understandable. The recent permission of CBD products by the Major League Baseball (MLB) further strengthens the position of the NBA players. 

The MLB decided to handle cannabis products like it handles alcohol. It went a further step and removed cannabis from the list of banned substances. The act showed a high tolerance level of the usage. However, there are fines attracted by violation of the THC threshold of 50ng/ml.

Cannabis has been a proscribed drug since 1999. In conformity with the law that rendered cannabis illegal, four random tests in a year were conducted on each player to confirm compliance. It is illegal for players to exceed a 15ng/ml threshold. Therefore, when a player is discovered to have used the drug, he is subjected to more testing and treatment. 

However, if officials discover the player to have used cannabis again, such player is fined $25000. If it occurs a third time, officials suspend the player for a total of five games. The suspension progressively increases for continued usage.

Recently Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, stated that the association is open to permit the usage of cannabis. He hastened to add that they require more scientific evidence of medical marijuana. 

His argument did not seem sincere considering 33 states already have a program for medical marijuana that uses CBD for treatment. Some medical experts even show patients how to apply for a cannabis med card in Texas and other states. Some players are using their influence to campaign for this course. These Players include:

Al Harrington

In basketball, you can refer to Al Harrington as a sojourner. In his sixteen-year career, he has played for seven different clubs and got through to seven Play-Offs. Harrington was among the first players to get drafted into the big league straight from high school.

His introduction to CBD products occurred in 2011. This took place after he got sidelined due to an injury from botched knee surgery. CBD products greatly aided his recovery. This made him a staunch advocate of the product, especially its medicinal capabilities. The player even owns a cannabis company known as Harrington Wellness to show his commitment to the course.

Paul Prince 

In his 19 year career, Paul prince played a vital part with the Celtics. The highest point of his basketball career came in the 2007/8 championship when he finished to become the MVP. Paul encountered a near-death experience after the thugs attacked and stabbed him 11times. 

The use of CBD products greatly aided the road to recovery. Since then, he has become a strong advocate of CBD. Due to the medicinal benefits of CBD, he believes that the NBA should allow players to use the products.

Jamal Mashburn

Jamal is an iconic player who averaged 20 points for most of his career. He later turned to business with investments in the automotive and food industry. Jamal showed interest in CBD by accepting a position as a board member of a cannabis wellness company. He is now an advocate for CBD products and assists NBA players to push for disbarment through his organization. 

Players need to continue joining hands to have the legalization of CBD for change. Further, through the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the NBA also needs to add its voice to the legalization effort of CBD.

Written by: HARRY VOLAREVIC