“Let’s just be real. The NBA has been high for many, many years. It’s not new. So if you do need that, it’s going to be vital.”
In less than two weeks, the National Basketball Association will resume its season inside the Disney World bubble. Almost all the players who are participating are now on-site and Al Harrington, the former NBA player turned cannabis entrepreneur, is hoping they brought enough of one critical supply with them. Weed.
“Bring more than you think you’re going to need,” Al Harrington told The Athletic. “You might have that teammate who’s never smoked and might want to try it since they’re stuck in a bubble. So you might be supplying other people.”
Possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanour in Florida, and while CBD is legal and readily available unless players brought it with them, they’re out of luck. Not even delivery is an option, as Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes learned recently when he left the bubble to pick up a takeout order. Holmes had to quarantine again for 10 days after grabbing his food.
The life of an NBA player is usually extremely regimented, with their days fully scheduled between practice and games, media availability, community and charity events, and more. In the bubble, that goes out the window. Players will have a lot of downtime to golf, or fish, or play cornhole, all cannabis-friendly activities.
Still, they are playing through a global pandemic, with their own health at risk and could be locked in the bubble for months if the season lasts all the way to the NBA Finals.
Harrington says cannabis could help provide some needed mental relief during that time.
“When you think about it, it’s damn near inhumane for them not to have marijuana,” he said. “These guys are going to need something to get away. Normally in the course of the season, the playoffs, if you have a bad game, you have a bad turnover to lose the game, you get to go home and see your kids. In this bubble situation, you can’t get away from the bad game. From a mental wellness standpoint, they’re going to need vices. If I had to choose as an owner, I’m choosing cannabis over them taking pills, over them drinking liquor and being dehydrated. You’re going to need THC in the bubble.”
The NBA has already said it won’t be testing players for recreational drugs as they try and finish out the season. A decision that Alphonso “Tucky” Blunt, who owns a dispensary in Oakland and has connections in NBA circles, supports.
“If it’s something that was central to you, that’s going to be detrimental for you to function,” Tucky told The Athletic. “Let’s just be real. The NBA has been high for many, many years. It’s not new. So if you do need that, it’s going to be vital.”
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