Americans support increased access to marijuana now more than ever. And it’s not just medical marijuana — which has been legal in some parts of the country for some time now — but all cannabis.
But the American people and American businesses aren’t on the same page — at least not yet. While you can walk into a store and purchase cannabis legally in some states, you can still be fired for using it if you run afoul of your workplace rules. Even professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and other leagues aren’t exempt.
Like all other businesses and employer-employee relationships, pro sports leagues have rules regarding substance use. These rules are worked out between the players’ unions and leagues (or teams), and they all forbid marijuana use. The problem, of course, is marijuana can be a potent and powerful medicine. Given the physically damaging nature of some sports, medical cannabis can be a valuable alternative to prescription painkillers and alcohol. But the leagues are still holding their ground against it.
That isn’t stopping players from fighting for it. Here are some of the biggest names in sports fighting to make medical marijuana accessible to professional athletes.
1. Bill Walton
- Bill Walton’s support of marijuana was accidentally broadcast live during commentary on the NCAA football championship.
A basketball legend, Bill Walton might have inadvertently signaled his support for cannabis during a broadcast following a NCAA football championship game. During the broadcast on ESPN, a return from commercial found Walton in the middle of a rant about marijuana, in which he called for the drug to be delisted as a Schedule I substance. And he was dressed as Uncle Sam at the time, too.
Walton, though, is far from the only major figure in professional basketball to be sick of our country’s stance toward weed.