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NBA Players Push League To Allow Medical Marijuana

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The union that represents professional basketball players thinks they should be able to use medical marijuana without being punished for it by the NBA.

“My own view is that there are substantial signs that support its efficacy and the value that it has for us, especially pain management,” National Basketball Players Association (NPBA) Executive Director Michele Roberts said in an interview SB Nation published on Monday. “We’re in talks with the league to see where we can go with it.”

While Roberts is optimistic that public policies and league rules on cannabis will eventually be changed, she worries that the anti-legalization position taken by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions complicates things.

“The obvious future is that marijuana will be decriminalized probably throughout the country in short order,” she said. “It is a banned substance in our league right now. If we do go down that road, we have to protect our players from — my words — a crazed attorney general who says he will prosecute violations of the law involving marijuana and he doesn’t care what individual states say. In other words, I don’t want my guys being arrested at airports in possession of a cannabinoid by some Fed.”

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern endorsed removing league penalties for players’ cannabis use last year.

“I’m now at the point where personally I think it should be removed from the banned list,” he said.

Roberts said that after the video of Stern’s comments came out, she “got some phone calls and we began discussions internally with our players and to some extent with the league to at least look at it.”

Current Commissioner Adam Silver is open to considering a change.

“I would say it’s something we will look at. I’m very interested in the science when it comes to medical marijuana,” he said recently. “My personal view is that it should be regulated in the same way that other medications are if the plan is to use it for pain management. And it’s something that needs to be discussed with our Players Association, but to the extent that science demonstrates that there are effective uses for medical reasons, we’ll be open to it.”

In a separate interview with The Undefeated last week, Roberts said there “has been a lot of buzz from the start of the year about medical marijuana,” and “a lot of players are interested in knowing what that is all about, so we will have some conversations about that.”

She also revealed that the players’ union is examining “independent research” on cannabis’s medical uses.

“I have certainly taken a look at what the current scientists are saying about this. And we are looking to have conversations with the league,” she said. “The thought is that we don’t have the same pain management issues as football does. It is true because their injuries are much more significant. But we do have pain issues.”

Roberts believes, based on reviewing data about cannabis, that it can help basketball players deal with injuries related to the sport.

“I go to meetings, and I’ve gotten used to it now, but eight of the guys will come into the meetings wearing ice on their knees,” she said. “I couldn’t stand that for 12 seconds. But they need to do that to be able to walk. Joint issues. Running up and down the court. The cardiovascular nature of the game. Jumping. Pain is an issue in the game. It’s a matter of allowing guys to use what science to me is suggesting is effective.”

But she didn’t reveal how close the league might be to agreeing to policy changes.

“We’re exploring it,” she said. “I think there is some movement toward accepting it as an appropriate use to address pain. But we’re not there yet.”

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

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Disneyland Busted Robert Downey Jr. For Smoking Marijuana, He Reveals While Accepting Disney Award

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Robert Downey Jr. said he was once detained at Disneyland after getting caught smoking marijuana on a gondola ride.

The Iron Man and Avengers actor shared the anecdote while being honored at the Disney Legends award show on Friday, describing his first trip to the California park.

“Here’s a bit of trivia for you. The very first time I went to Disneyland, I was transported to another place—within moments of being arrested,” Downey said, drawing laughs. “I was brought to a surprisingly friendly processing center, given a stern warning, and returned to, if memory serves, one very disappointed group chaperone.”

“I’ve been sitting on that shame for a while and I‘m just going to release it here tonight,” he said. “I would like to make amends to whomever had to detain me for smoking pot in a gondola without a license.”

“And I don’t wanna further confuse the issue by insinuating that pot smoking licenses for the gondola are in any way obtainable or for any of the other park attractions,” Downey added.

“Maybe for the Imagineers, but that’s their own business,” he joked, referencing Disney’s research and development team.

It’s not clear when Downey was detained in the so-called “Happiest Place On Earth,” but he’s previously talked about starting to use cannabis at an early age.

The actor isn’t the only high profile figure to get booted from Disneyland over smoking on the gondola ride.

Former President Barack Obama said last year that the same thing happened to him and some friends during college. He said during a speech at a political rally that they were smoking cigarettes on the gondolas, but also seemed to wink, raising questions about exactly what sort of plant material he and his friends were inhaling at the time.

In any case, Downey is right that there are no gondola marijuana smoking licenses available, even in California where cannabis is legal. In fact, Disney specifies on its park rules site that “[s]moking marijuana or any other illegal substances is not permitted at any time.”

There are designated cigarette smoking areas, however, which the former president presumably could have taken advantage of, if he really was simply imbibing tobacco.

Dave Chappelle Ate Magic Mushrooms Gifted By A Stranger, Joe Rogan Says

Photo courtesy of YouTube/Spokesmayne.

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Dave Chappelle Ate Magic Mushrooms Gifted By A Stranger, Joe Rogan Says

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Comedian Dave Chappelle recently rented out a movie theater at 1:00 AM and took psilocybin mushrooms that a stranger handed him.

That’s according to Joe Rogan, who also attended the private screening of Quentin Tarantino’s new film with Chappelle after the pair performed a stand-up show in Tacoma, Washington.

“I’m pretty sure he ate mushrooms from a fan the other day,” Rogan said on his podcast last week.

“We have a private screening of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood at one o’clock in morning. Dave is eating mushrooms that some fucking guy gave him in the crowd,” he said.

Rogan, no stranger to tripping, said he did not partake in the psychedelic festivities this time.

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” he joked.

That said, Chappelle did gift a bag of unlabeled cannabis edibles to Rogan, he said.

“I don’t know where the fuck they came from,” Rogan said. “They were in a bag.”

While Chappelle has incorporated marijuana and magic mushrooms in his comedy routines (like this 1998 bit where he also talked about taking shrooms he got from a stranger and then hallucinating during a haircut), he’s also seriously advocated for reforming cannabis policy.

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, who ran for governor of Maryland in 2018 on a pro-legalization platform, credited Chappelle for first putting the idea or marijuana reform in his head.

The two had an “ongoing conversation about the history of marijuana enforcement—the way it was targeted at our community and Latino communities—and that just sort of opened my eyes,” Jealous told Marijuana Moment last year.

Whether Chappelle will go on to become a vocal advocate for psychedelics reform is yet to be seen.

South Park Seems To Take A Jab At Marijuana Company MedMen In Satirical Ad

Photo courtesy of YouTube/Joe Rogan Experience.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Here Are The Top 20 Most And Least Marijuana-Friendly U.S. Colleges

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It’s back-to-school season, and as college students get ready to move into their dorms, some might be wondering about campus culture—including whether their school is marijuana friendly.

The Princeton Review is here to help. Besides ranking colleges overall each year, it also includes breakout sections offering ratings on a wide range of college features. For this year’s issue, the review guide looked at the top 20 universities where students use cannabis the most and least.

To compile the list, released earlier this week, Princeton Review asked 140,000 students at 385 schools a simple question: “How widely is marijuana used at your school?”

The results, for the most part, aren’t especially shocking. In general, marijuana is consumed most frequently at colleges located in states with looser cannabis laws, or more libertarian climates. Students are least likely to consume cannabis, according to the rankings, if they attend religious or military schools, or if the campuses are located in states with more restrictive cannabis policies.

Here are the most marijuana-friendly colleges: 

1. University of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont)

2. Pitzer College (Claremont, California)

3. University of Rhode Island (Kingston, Rhode Island)

4. Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut)

5. Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, New York)

6. Reed College (Portland, Oregon)

7. University of Maine (Orono, Maine)

8. Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York)

9. Marlboro College (Marlboro, Vermont)

10. University of California at Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, California)

11. Warren Wilson College (Asheville, North Carolina)

12. Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, New York)

13. State University of New York, Purchase College (Purchase, New York)

14. Champlain College (Burlington, Vermont)

15. Colorado College (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

16. University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, Colorado)

17. Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York)

18. University of Wisconsin at Madison (Madison, Wisconsin)

19. Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York)

20. Hamilton College (Clinton, New York)

Here are the least cannabis-friendly colleges:

1. United States Air Force Academy (USAF Academy, Colorado)

2. United States Military Academy (West Point, New York)

3. United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland)

4. College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri)

5. Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, California)

6. Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah)

7. Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois)

8. City University of New York, Baruch College (New York, New York)

9. Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

10. Grove City College (Grove City, Pennsylvania)

11. City University of New York, Hunter College (New York, New York)

12. Baylor University (Waco, Texas)

13. Gordon College (Wenham, Massachusetts)

14. Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, Michigan)

15. Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Illinois)

16. Stephens College (Columbia, Missouri)

17. University of Dallas (Irving, Texas)

18. Pepperdine University (Malibu, California)

19. Agnes Scott College (Decatur, Georgia)

20. Simmons University (Boston, Massachusetts)

Regardless of how much or little students at a given college consume marijuana, those who choose to partake could be at risk of losing the means by which they pay for their tuition. Drug convictions can lead to the loss of federal financial aid, which is why some lawmakers are pushing for legislation to protect such students from being denied access to education over a substance that is becoming legal in more and more places.

Young Americans Are More Likely To Smoke Marijuana Than Cigarettes, Poll Finds

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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