Former Chicago Bulls guard Jay Williams says that regular cannabis use is ubiquitous with the NBA. Years of using cannabis oil topically and observing ever-present cannabis use have led him to become a whistleblower. According to Williams, cannabis saved his life, and can help save the lives of countless others suffering from conditions like him.
In June 2003, the Duke All-American struck a light pole in his motorcycle, crushing his pelvis and tearing several knee ligaments. Williams battled an opiate addiction before turning to cannabis.
“It’s easy for doctors to prescribe you Oxycontin and look- I was addicted to it for five plus years so I know,” Williams explained to FOX Business.
“But when you say 'marijuana' you get a reaction- ahhh, it’s a gateway drug.” Even as a former NBA star, the medical bills kept mounting up. On his 22nd birthday, he blew out the candles from his bed. Williams said the pain was so bad, he considered suicide.
“I remember lying in my bed,” he told the New York Times. “And I’m just tired of being here. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I was so afraid to face people. And I didn’t really know who I was. And I didn’t really want anybody to see me. And I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I didn’t want to talk about it.”
Since NBA players are subject to four random drug test per year- it's amazing that any of them are able to consistently pass a drug screen.
A first offense will not result in a fine, however, the player must enter into a marijuana program. A second offense warrants a $25,000 fine and a third offense results in a five-game suspension. Off-season, on the other hand, is open season.
A decade ago, Williams didn't know how to handle the constant cannabis in the NBA. “There were guys smoking weed before games. Guys asking in the middle of the game, ‘Do you smell popcorn?’" He noticed the nervous laughter around the kitchen table.
“You think I’m playing,” Williams said. “Can you imagine! Guys are gambling. They’re playing dice in the back of the plane for money. Like, we just lost by 30 tonight! And we’ve got a game tomorrow! It bugged me out.” According to Williams, it's commonplace for NBA players to play on Percocet. He prefers cannabis oil.
Former NBA and UConn star Cliff “Uncle Spliffy” Robinson has joined the movement. Robinson was suspended twice after testing positive for cannabis. Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors was popped with a dimebag back in 2011.
The Knick's JR Smith takes the cake, after managing to get suspended for the first five games over cannabis. Smith also used cannabis during a knee injury. Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets posted a hookah on his Instagram.
Former Blazer and Memphis Grizzlies Zach Randolph was busted selling pounds of cannabis in 2010. Unconfirmed and occasional stoners include LeBron James and Michael Beasley.
Williams hopes the NBA will warm up and catch up to the ocean tide of change in cannabis laws. “I’m not condoning for anyone under 18 to use cannabis or marijuana,” he said. “But from a medical perspective, it’s about time some of these brands like the NBA and MLB become a little bit more progressive and start thinking forward instead of being held captive in the past.”