Blake Griffin Says NBA Players Should Be Allowed To Use Medical Marijuana

By John Lavitt 05/01/14

Prior to the controversy and turmoil caused by L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Griffen came out in favor of players using medical pot over pills to deal with pain.

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When asked if NBA players should be allowed to use medical marijuana, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers told Rolling Stone, “It doesn’t really affect me, but so many guys would probably benefit from it and not take as many painkillers, which have worse long-term effects. So I would vote yes. I just think it makes sense.”

Given the pressure brought by the TMZ-released recording of Clipper owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant to his trophy girlfriend, it wouldn’t be surprising if most of the Clippers team desired to smoke a joint or two. In truth, the remark about medical marijuana by Griffin was in response to the five-game suspension of Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders by the NBA for testing positive for the drug.

After signing a four-year, $44 million contract extension to become the face of the Bucks franchise, Larry Sanders quickly fell from grace. The power forward won’t serve out his suspension until the 2014-15 season on account of inability to play due to an orbital fracture. Responding to his suspension with the usual platitudes, he acknowledged that he made a mistake, and asked Bucks fans and his teammates for patience and forgiveness.

In contrast, ever since being the number one pick in the 2009 NBA draft, Blake Griffin has grown into a superstar, both on and off the court. Despite his star power, he hasn't been shy about expressing his opinions. The outspoken player surely would have boycotted the Clippers playoff games if NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had not banned Donald Sterling for life, hopefully leading to the quick future sale of the team.

In terms of medical marijuana in the NBA, no one should expect Silver to bend in that direction anytime soon despite Griffin's statement and the unspoken supporting views of many other players. From Michael Ray Richardson to Roy Tarpley, the NBA has traditionally has shown zero tolerance for drug usage of any kind by players, though on rare occasions, college players can find refuge in the league from drug suspensions.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.