Sanders said the drug's stigma is rooted in its illegal status and believes once prohibition is lifted, the stigma will go away.
Sanders was suspended by the NBA for violating the league’s drug policy earlier Friday. Sanders admitted that the suspension was for marijuana. NBA players test positive three times for marijuana in league testing to get a suspension, the first two times you just get sent to rehab/counseling.
“It’s a banned substance in my league,” Sanders said. “But I believe in marijuana and the medical side of it … I study it and I known the benefits it has. In a lot of ways we’ve been deprived.”
Sanders, who signed a four-year, $44 million contract last summer, had a disastrous 2014 season and likely is out the rest of the season due to an injury (a broken eye oket that he suffered during a game). Therefore, Sanders will be required to serve the suspension at the beginning of next season.
Sanders averaged 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 23 games this season for the highly disappointing Bucks (14-62). He missed the majority of the time after damaging ligaments in a bar fight. He also fought with teammates and got cited by police for leaving his dogs out in the cold.
Marijuana is legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington state, and for medicinal use in 20 more states.