Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said on a CSN Bay Area podcast on Friday that he tried using medicinal marijuana in order to ease his chronic back pain. It didn’t work for him, but Kerr said it was worth it because it’s so much less harmful and addictive than the painkillers that are routinely prescribed.
The comments were treated as some kind of revelation, and there were quickly responses from around the league, including some support from Warriors forward Draymond Green. Kerr told reporters Saturday that he was surprised it made so many headlines, and then he discussed the importance of removing the stigma around medicinal marijuana and bringing the dangers of painkillers to light, via the San Jose Mercury News‘ Anthony Slater:
“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Kerr said. “But I do find it ironic that if I said I used OxyContin for relief for my back pain, it would not have been a headline.”
“You get handed prescriptions for Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet,” Kerr said. “NFL players, that’s what they’re given. That stuff is awful. That stuff is dangerous. The addiction possibility, what it could lead to, the long-term health risks. So the issue that is really important is: How do we do what’s best for the players? But I understand it’s a perception issue around the country. NFL, NBA, it’s a business. So you don’t want your customers thinking these guys are a bunch of potheads. That’s what it is. But to me it’s only a matter of time before medicinal marijuana is allowed in sports leagues. Because the education will overwhelm the perception. If you do any research at all, the stuff they’re prescribing is really bad for you. The stuff that they’re banning is fine. Again, it’s perception. But I do think it’s a matter of time. You can see it with our country. Our country is starting to wisen up on the medicinal marijuana side. But I hope we can wisen up on the prescription drug side. That’s scary stuff and it’s really not talked about very often.”
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