Seventeen years after his career with the Seattle SuperSonics ended, Shawn Kemp is opening up a cannabis dispensary in downtown Seattle.
According to The Baltimore Sun, lines stretched down the block, around the corner and into back allies on Friday Oct. 30th, as SuperSonic fans awaited their turn to shop at Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis.
Perfectly situated downtown just a couple of blocks from where Kemp first became an NBA All-Star, the shop comes as a partnership with Matt Schoenlein and Ramsey Hamide of Main Street Cannabis.
Kemp, who was arrested twice in the 2000s for drug charges including cannabis possession, hopes his latest endeavor will help change the way in which cannabis is viewed by society, particularly the NBA.
“I think we’re finding out the cannabis to be valuable to us in a lot of different ways, whether it be through medicine or to athletic skills,” Kemp stated to The Baltimore Sun. “And I think that’s why you see the NBA bending their rules and I think you’ll see several other leagues probably do the same.”
“Marijuana has been part of the Black community forever. This is putting a positive spin on it,” he continued.
In a recent interview with TMZ, Kemp noted that he smoked cannabis during his days as an NBA star.
“When I played, absolutely we smoked pot back in the day when we played. We was responsible with it but we definitely smoked,” Kemp stated, noting the positive effects that cannabis has had on his arthritis and bodily pain.
“Sometimes guys don’t like to pop the pills, some guys, they don’t wanna take those chances,” he added. “So this is another way of taking care of yourself professionally, with doing it the right way.”
On the Bleacher Report’s podcast, The Full 48, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed the various considerations that the NBA must take in regards to changing cannabis rules.
“I don’t want to speak for [National Basketball Players Association’s executive director] Michele [Roberts], but she and I have a somewhat similar view on this, which is: We should follow the science,” Silver said. “This is not an ethical issue for me. It’s not a moral issue for me. I obviously see what’s happening in states around America,” he continued, noting 10 states
Under the circumstances of the current pandemic, the NBA decided this July that they would not test players for cannabis or any recreational drugs during their season at Disney World.
They also chose to reinstate Charlotte Hornet guard Malik Monk who was suspended indefinitely at the start of the 2020 season for violating the league’s anti-drug program.
As NBA players continue to become more open about their cannabis use, it’s likely the NBA will reevaluate the rules for a typical season when that time comes.
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