Last month, former NBA commissioner David Stern said, in an interview with Uninterrupted, that he believes marijuana should be removed from the NBA's banned substance list. On Tuesday, while speaking to ESPN's Nick Friedell, Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said he agrees.
"I agree with David Stern with marijuana," the 22-year-old said. "You don't have to actually make it 'Mary J' [or] 'Half Baked.' You don't have to do it like that, but you could use the [chemical] properties in it to make a lot of people better. That's something that Adam Silver has to do, that's out of my control, but maybe legalizing marijuana."
While Towns said he has never smoked marijuana or drank alcohol, he claims his perspective on the subject came from interacting with autistic individuals who used the drug to benefit their everyday lives. He believes the positive effects of marijuana could translate to NBA players.
"These guys, just because we're NBA athletes, we're not super humans," he said. "Some of us have conditions that could use [medical marijuana] to our benefit for everyday living, just taking care of our kids and our families."
Towns attributes his interest in medicine to his mother, who has worked for Rutgers University medicine for over 20 years. After conducting research of his own, the big man said he believes the drug could be positive for some players:
"I think in the right context it would be beneficial. Obviously, everything in moderation. We don't have a Tylenol bottle and take six of them. You take what's directed to help you feel better. We have an amazing drug program for our questions, and we have great backing by the association who does so much research, and they do so much great work with that. Whether it's not legal, whether it's legal, they always do a great job of making sure that they give the players every chance to be healthy."
The NBA's current marijuana policy punishes players who test positive by a mandatory completion of substance abuse treatment. A second offense leads to a $25,000 fine, followed by a five-game suspension and a 10-game suspension for a third and fourth offense, respectively. Every subsequent violation results in an additional five games to the suspension.
Towns, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA draft, has averaged 21.2 points and 11.2 rebounds through 13 games this season.