Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders was recently suspended five games by the NBA for violating the league’s substance abuse policy after a third failed drug test for marijuana. Usually, players will apologize after suspensions,but Sanders did not seem willing to say he was sorry for his actions.
Instead, Sanders shed some light on his marijuana usage and expressed that he believes in using the drug for it’s medical benefits.
“It’s something I feel strongly about, just to let you know something personal about me,” the 6-foot-11 player told NBA.com and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel prior to the Bucks’ game against Chicago at United Center Friday. “I will deal with the consequences from it. It’s a banned substance in my league. But I believe in marijuana and the medical side of it.
“I know what it is if I’m going to use it. I study it and I know the benefits it has. In a lot of ways we’ve been deprived. You can’t really label it with so many other drugs that people can be addicted to and have so many negative effects on your body and your family and your relationships and impairment. This is not the same thing.” …
“The stigma is that it’s illegal. I hate that,” Sanders said. “Once this becomes legal, this all will go away.”
Sanders signed a four-year contract extension worth $44 million last summer, but he has been in plenty of trouble off the field since that moment.
While Sanders may have some truth behind his points on marijuana, the fact is that it remains illegal in a number of states and it is a prohibited substance around the league. Sanders’ comments show that he doesn’t understand the repercussions of not following the rules and that should be worrisome for the Bucks organization.