OAKLAND – The disclosure Friday by Warriors coach Steve Kerr that he turned to marijuana to cope with chronic pain after multiple back surgeries generated considerable reaction, and two of his players addressed the topic on Saturday.
Forward Draymond Green and guard Klay Thompson both were in full support of Kerr’s statement, believing that there is a time and place for using marijuana, which over the past five years has been legalized in 26 of the 50 states.
“When I read what he said and actually sat back and thought about what he said, it made a lot of sense,” Green said after shootaround. “Regardless of whether you’re an advocate for it or against it, if you have any common sense and you read what he said, it make a ton of sense.”
Kerr’s point was that marijuana, which he ingested several times, was much easier on his body than prescription painkillers, which are created in a laboratory and can have significant and even deadly side effects.
“It’s grown from the earth,” Green said. “So maybe it is better than a Vicodin, as he said.”
Though Green said he has never used weed, Thompson was cited for pot possession in 2011, when he was at Washington State.
“With the way the world is going, if there is anything you can do that’s medicinal . . . people are all for it,” Thompson said. “Especially when there’s stuff like Crohn’s Disease out there, glaucoma, cancer.
“But not recreationally. That should not be of its use ever. But there’s obviously is a medicinal side to it that people are finding out have benefits, especially people in really high pain.”
Kerr noted that in some instances, particularly involving NFL players, the constant pain results in frequent use of such painkillers and Vicodin and Toradol, both of which come with significant risk.
Both Green and Thompson acknowledged having been treated with Toradol.
“You can be completely hurting and then take a Toradol shot and go through a game and feel nothing,” Green said. “Is that really good for you over the course of time? I doubt it.
“So I think it makes a lot of sense what (Kerr) said, when you really dive into what he said and not the initial thought of, ‘Oh, man, it’s weed.’ Once you get past that thought of it and the perception that’s been out there so long, and actually look at it, it makes a lot of sense.”
Green, who is friends with a good many NFL players, is hopeful that if nothing else this is yet another step toward meaningful dialogue and understanding that may result in eradication of lingering perceptions that marijuana is more harmful and dangerous that alcohol, much less powerful prescription drugs.
“Maybe that conversation will pick up more,” he said. “It usually takes a guy like Steve to do something like that, to where it even starts the conversation. And when you start the conversation with stuff, it’s still at least three or four years out.”