Phil Jackson said Tuesday that marijuana is part of NBA culture, and with the changes in laws and attitudes about it, the league needs to "figure out another way to deal with it," the CBS Sports Network reported.
Jackson, president of the New York Knicks, made the comments during the sports talk show "We Need to Talk" while addressing the fact that Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr used medicinal marijuana to treat his back pain. Jackson, who had back surgery during his NBA career, admitted he used marijuana as well, the CBS Sports Network noted.
"I don't know about its medicinal ability," Jackson said on the show, according to CBS Sports. "I had back surgery, and the year I was off, I was smoking marijuana during that period of time. I think it was a distraction for me as much as a pain reliever. But I've never thought of it as ultimately a pain medication for that type of situation. I know ocular things, stomach, digestive issues and other things, I think it is regarded quite highly."
Jackson played 12 years in the NBA, mostly with the Knicks, but missed all of the team's 1969-70 championship season because of the back surgery. He went on to win 11 NBA titles as coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Jackson added that with marijuana being legalized in more states across the country, the NBA is at a crossroads in how to deal with players using it. Marijuana can be used recreationally in Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, along with Washington, D.C., BGR noted.
Some 28 states have laws favorable to some use of marijuana for medical purposes, noted BGR.
"We're in a situation that's in flux," Jackson said about the NBA and its rules regarding marijuana, according to CBS Sports. "We have states -- Washington, D.C., Colorado -- have legalized marijuana. Those are going to raise issues.
"… I don't think we have been able to stop it in the NBA. I think it still goes on and is still a part of the culture in the NBA. I think it is something that we either have to accommodate or figure out another way to deal with it," Jackson continued.
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