Kevin Durant Told NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to End Marijuana Ban

Durant is an open user of cannabis, despite stigmas around athletes and weed.

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NBA superstar Kevin Durant owns equity in legal cannabis companies like Weedmaps, and openly advocates for legalization. Last year, he even told David Letterman he was high during their Netflix interview.

Tuesday (July 25), Durant told attendees at CNBC’s Game Plan Summit in Los Angeles that he lobbied behind the scenes to get cannabis removed from the NBA banned substance list. After years of athletes facing harsh penalties and ridicule for testing positive, Durant made a call straight to the top and tried to change things.

“I actually called [Adam Silver] and advocated for him to take marijuana off the banned substance list,” Durant told Game Plan Summit attendees. He said he told the commissioner, “the stigma behind it wasn’t as negative as it was before. It doesn’t affect you in any negative way.”

And what did Silver have to say?

“He agreed. And you see where we are now,” Durant said. Still, the future hall of famer won’t accept the title of pioneer when it comes to cannabis culture.

“I wouldn’t call myself a pioneer, not at all,” Durant clarified. “I just enjoy the plant. Simple as that.” Durant started using cannabis when he was 22, as a rising star for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant said he didn’t have to persuade Silver much to get cannabis taken off the banned substance list. The Phoenix Suns forward also wasn’t shy about letting the commissioner know about his own personal use.

“He smelled it when he walked in,” Durant told CNBC. “So I didn’t really have to say much. He kind of understood where this is going.” In May of last year, Durant made headlines when he compared cannabis use among NBA players to having a sip of wine to relax. “It’s the NBA man, everybody does it. It’s like wine at this point,” Durant said. But he also sees the tension that legalization is causing for some.

“(Legalization) is confusing to a lot of people. You could look around [New York] city in the next year or two, [and] it’s gonna be dispensaries everywhere, where you can actually go buy weed… And It’s even crazier that there are people in jail for 20 years for selling a pound.” - Kevin Durant on David Letterman’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.”

Durant has said using the plant “clears the distractions out your brain a little bit.” He also told Letterman that it “settles you down, like having a glass of wine.”

Apparently, Stephen A. Smith’s cries for athletes to “stay off the weed” didn’t resonate. Especially now that the man Smith often calls the best player in the world has been getting high this whole time.

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