GOLDEN State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says marijuana didn’t help his chronic back pain, but he still thinks pro sports leagues must eventually reconsider their opposition to the drug.
Kerr told CSN Bay Area that he experimented with marijuana a “few times” to help him cope with pain.
Medicinal marijuana use has been legalised by the state of California, although it’s still illegal under US federal law and against the rules for players in the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball.
Kerr told The Warriors Insider Podcast that even though pot didn’t help him, it was worth trying because other pain medications “have been worse”.
The 51-year-old, who underwent two surgeries on his back during the summer of 2015, said it could be a boon to pro athletes.
“I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is 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.
“Vicodin is not good for you. It’s way worse for you than pot, especially if you’re looking for a painkiller and you’re talking about medicinal marijuana, the different strains what they’re able to do with it as a pain reliever.
“I think it’s only a matter of time before the NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball realise that.
“I have no idea if I would, maybe I would have failed a drug test, I don’t even know if I’m subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA,” Kerr said. “I tried it and it didn’t help at all.” The 51-year-old Kerr missed the first 43 games last season and the team’s record 24-0 start while on a leave of absence following complications from two back surgeries. A spinal fluid leak led to terrible headaches, nausea and neck pain among other symptoms that left him feeling frustrated and down. Kerr noted, “athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.” He said he hopes sports leagues “are able to look past the perception” and that it’s only a matter of time to change rules. He also was just selected the Western Conference Coach of the Month for November.