During an interview on CBS Sports Network's "We Need to Talk," New York Knicks president Phil Jackson admitted to prior use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. According to the former LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls winning coach, he smoked pot after undergoing back surgery, forcing him to miss the 1969-1970 season. The 71-year-old Jackson stated that it was as much a distraction as it was a pain reliever. However, Jackson noted that he never considered it to ultimately be pain medication.

Since the National Basketball Association did not enforce a drug policy until 1983, Jackson was not penalized.

These days, players and coaches are routinely subjected to drug testing which could result in a marijuana program entry, multi-game suspensions, and fines if tests come back positive. Jackson notes that despite the league's efforts, the drug use remains a part of their culture. He opined that either the organization will have to accommodate or figure out other ways of dealing with the issue even though marijuana is still on their banned substances list.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr's admission

Last Friday, Steve Kerr admitted to using marijuana twice to treat chronic pain since his back surgery in 2015. Although Kerr says he did not necessarily enjoy marijuana from a recreational standpoint, he does feel that medical cannabis is less harmful than other types of prescription painkillers.

Coach Kerr believes it is only a matter of time before the league realizes this. Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson feels differently, commenting that use of the drug was not cool and could lead to more serious narcotic use.

Growing use of marijuana

Legalized use of marijuana is welcomed in certain states with California and Colorado being perhaps the more popular for the cannabis stores.

In fact, a large population of people moved to Colorado after the law was passed. With the decriminalization of cannabis over the years, certain tweaks to the marijuana policy are expected to occur in the next NBA bargaining agreement.

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