Karl-Anthony Towns promotes benefits of medical marijuana use
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has shared his belief publicly that the NBA should allow players to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
In case you didn't know...
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said last season on a CSN Bay Area podcast that he used marijuana to try to mitigate the chronic back pain he was dealing with.
The heart of the matter...
In an extensive talk with ESPN, Towns was asked what one change he would make if he were commissioner Adam Silver.
His response was, "I agree with David Stern with marijuana. You don't have to actually make it 'Mary J' [or instead] 'half baked'. You don't have to do it like that, but you could use the chemical properties in it to make a lot of people better.
"That's something that Adam Silver has to do. That's out of my control, but maybe legalising marijuana. Not fully legal, where people are chimneys, but using [marijuana] as a beneficial factor as an athlete, a person living daily."
As earlier stated by Towns, he shares similar views on the subject with former NBA commissioner David Stern. He told former NBA player Al Harrington that he would personally remove marijuana from the banned substance list if given the opportunity to, during a documentary on Uninterrupted.
Towns has seen first-hand the effects which new treatments have had. They've helped his girlfriend's nephew and his family deal with autism and addressed this too.
"You realise those properties can do a lot of good for kids and adults. I've seen nothing but benefits for him and I'm very happy that he finds comfortable, that normalcy every day. Just like a father, mother, a parent with a child, you'd do anything for them."
Towns himself has done some research regarding the advantages of using medical marijuana and said it's a topic debated across the league. "I think it's discussed, but I look at it from my experience. I've never smoked, never taken a strand or properties of it, whatever the case may be. But I deal with kids all the time at autistic schools, Reed Academy in New Jersey.
The 2016 Rookie of the Year continued, saying: "These guys, just because we're NBA athletes, we're not superhumans. Some of us have conditions that could use this to our benefit for everyday living, just taking care of our kids and families.
"We have such a great commissioner in Silver, who's willing to listen to opinions and talk to us about how he feels as well. I think Stern obviously made an intellectual statement from his experience and just seeing things from a different perspective.
"The NBA has done a great job of really cracking down on things that should not be legal. Not only legal as performance-enhancing or whatever case it may be, but just for daily living to have a better life, more sustainable and healthy life by removing those drugs from the game."
It's likely that Towns' comments will ensure the debate about medicinal marijuana continues, and increasingly probable that Silver may address the situation in future to clear up questions.
Looking ahead to more basketball action, Towns' Timberwolves are now 9-5 for the season after their victory over the San Antonio Spurs. They face the Dallas Mavericks (2-13) on Saturday.
The benefits of medicinal marijuana should be used for people who suffer from impairments such as autism, not least if it helps them recover from this. Making the drug legal for NBA players to use is a totally different issue though and can get out of control easily if rules and regulations are not in place. It would have to be carefully monitored if they decide to legalise this across the league.