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Adam Silver: NBA, NBPA have been discussing marijuana policy ‘for some time’

NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed this week that the league and NBPA have been engaged in ongoing discussions about the NBA’s marijuana policy.

Silver, speaking to Howard Beck on Bleacher Report’s “The Full 48” podcast, indicated deliberations have been going on “for some time,” and his comments at least appear to hint at the potential for the policy to evolve in the years to come.

“I don’t want to speak for [NBPA executive director] Michele [Roberts], but she and I have a somewhat similar view on this, which is: We should follow the signs,” Silver said. “This is not an ethical issue for me. It’s not a moral issue for me. I obviously see what’s happening in states around America.”

As noted by Bleacher Report, 10 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and five of them boast an NBA team: Oregon, California, Colorado, Michigan and Massachusetts. Further, the societal views on marijuana use — medicinally and otherwise — continue to evolve in this country. The NBA simply is doing its due diligence on marijuana in light of the evolving and changing landscape.

The apparent approach by the NBA and NBPA is to first tackle the issue of medicinal marijuana, not recreational use. Unfortunately, Silver says, the available research is lacking.

“There’s not as much, frankly, science out there as I would have thought, in terms of the medical efficacy of using medical marijuana,” he said. “I don’t mean to suggest that the people who say it’s effective for them, that it’s not. … It’s like a lot of issues we deal with in the league. It’s a balancing of issues.”

Silver previously expressed interest in exploring the medicinal use of marijuana back in 2017. Interestingly, former NBA commissioner David Stern believes the league should remove marijuana from its banned substances list. Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns later agreed with the former commish’s stance.

The NBA and the players union obviously are only in the very early stages of looking into the marijuana issue. Any changes to league policy presumably are a ways off, but the parties involved arguably deserve credit for proactively exploring the topic.