“I guess maybe I can even get in some trouble for this, but I’ve actually tried it twice during the last year and a half, when I’ve been going through this chronic pain that I’ve been dealing with,” Kerr told The Warriors Insider Podcast on Friday. “[After] a lot of research, a lot of advice from people and I have no idea if maybe I would have failed a drug test. I don’t even know if I’m subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA.”
Kerr’s stance comes after trying several different types of painkillers to manage not lingering pain in his back and frequent headaches. He believes that Vicodin, a common painkiller that “athletes everywhere are prescribed . . . like it’s vitamin C, like it’s no big deal,” is not an answer.
“I know enough, especially over the last couple years, having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff — Vicodin is not good for you,” Kerr said.“It’s way worse for you than pot, especially if you’re looking for a painkiller and you’re talking about medicinal marijuana, the different strains what they’re able to do with it as a pain reliever. I think it’s only a matter of time before the NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball realize that.”
The NFL continues to outlaw marijuana, as it remains listed as a trigger that would cause a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. But with 26 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, now classifying marijuana as legal either recreationally or for medical purposes, the NFLPA has begun to look into the possibility of its use for pain management.
As for the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver told GQ magazine in 2014 that his league is far more concerned with human growth hormone and designer performance-enhancing drug use than pot, but that “it’s our strong preference that our players do not consume marijuana.”
But, Silver went on, “marijuana testing is something that’s collectively bargained with the players’ association, and we adjust to the times.”
While Kerr admits, “I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” he noted that, “I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin.”
Whether major pro leagues come to the same conclusion remains to be seen, but Kerr would like to see a change.
“There’s this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine, but pot is bad,” he said. “I would hope, especially for these NFL guys, who are basically involved in a car wreck every Sunday — and maybe four days later, the following Thursday, which is another insane thing the NFL does — I would hope that league will come to its senses and institute a different sort of program where they can help these guys get healthier rather than getting hooked on these painkillers.”