Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr turned to a different treatment option for the chronic back pain that's bothered him from having two surgeries on his back.
On a podcast with CSN Bay Area's Monte Poole, Kerr revealed that he tried marijuana to ease the pain, based on recommendations and research he did.
"I guess maybe I could even get in some trouble for this, but I've actually tried [marijuana] twice during the last year and a half when I've been going through this pain, this chronic pain that I've been dealing with," Kerr said.
Kerr said that marijuana "doesn't agree with him," but he believes it's a better option than the painkillers that are often prescribed to people, athletes included.
"If you're an NFL player, in particular, and you've got a lot of pain, I don't think there's any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it's Vitamin C, like it's no big deal. And there's like this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine but pot is bad. Now, I think that's changing. You're seeing that change in these laws that you're talking about in different states, including California. But I would just hope that sports leagues are able to look past the perception."
Kerr said he understands why leagues would be hesitant about allowing marijuana, noting they're afraid that players may be labeled "potheads."
While discussing his own experience using marijuana in the last year and a half, Kerr said, "I tried it, and it didn't help at all. But it was worth it, because I'm searching for answers on pain. But I've tried painkillers and drugs of other kinds, as well, and those have been worse."
According to ESPN, NBA coaches are subject to one drug test in training camp, with different thresholds for what is considered a positive test. Players who test positive for marijuana are not subject to punishment until their third failure.
Kerr believes it's only a matter of time before the major sports leagues reconsider their policies on marijuana use and punishment.
Said Kerr, "Again, without being an expert on it, but I know enough, especially over the last couple of years having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff. Vicodin is not good for you. It's not. It's way worse for you than pot."
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