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Former NBA Commissioner David Stern says league should reconsider marijuana ban

David Stern
  • Former NBA commissioner David Stern says at the SeventySix Capital Sports Innovation Conference that the league should review its ban on THC.
  • Stern also praises the league for its handling of its rift with China.
PHILADELPHIA — Former NBA Commissioner David Stern says the league’s ban on marijuana is outdated and should be reconsidered in the next collective bargaining agreement.

“I think it’s time to take a whole new look at it,” Stern, 77, said in an interview Wednesday with CNBC at the SeventySix Capital Sports Innovation Conference in Philadelphia.

In a wide-ranging conversation, he also touched on China’s rift with the NBA and retired star Tim Duncan’s return to the court as a coach.

Stern said his feelings about marijuana have shifted with the recent surge in medical use of THC and CBD — the two main compounds in cannabis — to treat pain, anxiety and other ailments.

“In many cases in sports,” Stern said, “the opioid crisis begins with players being prescribed pills for their pain, and if there is another substance, whether it be CBD or THC that eases pain, then I’m all for it.”

Players are subjected to four random drug tests during the season — a rule Stern helped write before stepping down in 2014 as commissioner after three decades at the league. Players aren’t tested during the offseason.

Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton was suspended without pay for 25 games last month for violating the NBA and NBPA’s anti-drug policy when he tested positive for a banned diuretic. Though the exact substance is not known, diuretics are sometimes used to cleanse the body of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot, before mandatory drug tests.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Jabari Young on CNBC News

Published: November 10, 2019

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