NBA Star Kevin Durant Really Wants the League to Legalize Weed
Just two years removed from winning MVP of the NBA Finals for the second time, basketball superstar Kevin Durant has spent the entire season sidelined with an achilles injury. But just because he’s not sinking three-point shots and driving defenders to the rim doesn’t mean that he’s out of the sports spotlight. And this week, the Slim Reaper is shining his light on his love for legal weed.
On a recent episode of Showtime’s “All the Smoke” podcast, hosted by retired NBA veterans and vocal cannabis advocates Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Durant spoke candidly about his views on weed. He voiced support for league-wide legalization and expressed a desire to end the stigma surrounding the plant.
“It’s one of those plants that’s an acquired taste. If you love it, you love it. If you don’t, you’re not even going to pick it up. It shouldn’t even be a discussion these days,” Durant told Barnes and Jackson. “It’s just like, marijuana is marijuana. It’s not harmful to anybody. It can only help and enhance and do good things. I feel like it shouldn’t even be a huge topic around it anymore.”
Like the NFL and MLB, the NBA has long banned cannabis from the league, with players tested randomly every year, and consequences ranging from fines and suspensions to total league bans for players who fail THC screenings. But while Major League Baseball recently ended cannabis testing, and the National Football League is inches away from enacting it’s own pot reform measures, pro basketball has not yet joined the bandwagon. For Durant, the time for the NBA to act on cannabis is long overdue.
“Everybody on my team drinks coffee every day. Taking caffeine every day. Or guys go out to have wine after games or have a little drink here and there. Marijuana should be in that tone,” the former league scoring leader said. “Why are we even talking about it? It shouldn’t even be a conversation now. So hopefully we can get past that and the stigma around it and know that it does nothing but make people have a good time, make people hungry, make people just come together — that plant brings us all together.”
Over the past few years, current and former NBA players — including Barnes and Jackson — have spoken freely about their desire for cannabis rule changes in the league, and Durant has been no stranger to the cause. Despite consumption restrictions during basketball season, Durant has put his money where his mouth is, and now has a number of business ventures involving legal weed, including investments in the legal weed delivery app “Dutchie.”
And even outside of the NBA, Durant is adamant that society, broadly, could benefit from federal legalization and mass pardons for pot convicts.
“We start getting people out of jail for marijuana. That’s the next step,” Durant said. “And just keep going. But it’s a plant that’s put here for a reason, and that’s to bring us together. Hopefully [reform] happens, especially in the NBA.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, KD.
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter