The world of professional sports requires all athletes to have lots of impressive qualities in order to find success. One of the single most important is an authentic willingness to step up and speak out. True professionalism means standing up for important issues that have an impact on their lives and the lives of everyone else in society as a whole. For this former NBA superstar, one issue has taken center stage. As a young man, he's enjoyed using cannabis. As he grew up, he's found this substance continues to offer him many benefits both on and off the courts.
Growing Up With Cannabis
Matt Barnes cannabis journey began early in life. As a teen, he was first introduced to cannabis smoking when with his peer group. This is also where he first realized his innate athletic ability and his skill with the basketball. Excelling in sports came naturally to him. Within a few short years, he was quickly recruited to join one of the best basketball programs in the world. He was also using cannabis while he was playing pro ball. He did so knowing that it could result in his expulsion from the pro leagues.
While Playing Ball
Like many players, Matt Barnes has used cannabis. He's also seen how using marijuana has little impact on the impact of players when it comes to the game. Many players use it with no ill effects. Despite this fact, NBA has put relatively harsh rules in place governing the use of marijuana among professional basketball players. He has actually been caught using it twice. That's one less than the number of times that would have permanently barred him from the game he loves so much. For him, as for so many other players, the issue is one of fairness. Many pro ballplayers use the substance. They do without consequences as it does not impact their ability on the court.
In response to such criticism, Barnes is pleased to announce NBA officials will no longer be testing players for cannabis use in the coming year. He points to a deeply disturbing fact. Out of the roughly four hundred NBA players, about half were in the drug rehabilitation program simply for using marijuana. That's an astonishing fact and one that he understandably thinks is problematic at best. In his opinion, this is a waste of time and a waste of resources that could be better spent on more important actions.
One of the most important things that Matt Barnes wants people to understand is that the consumption of cannabis is legal in California. This is a big step. Thanks to lobbying efforts by those willing to stand up, people no longer face harsh penalties for cannabis use in America's most populous state. That's a big step forward. It means that many residents are no longer subject to the harsh arm of the legal system merely to enjoy a product with known benefits.
With that in mind, Matt Barnes has chosen to speak out even more. He wants others to be aware of the impact that cannabis laws have had on minority communities. Barnes is aware that he is a role model. People look at his success in the world of pro ball and they find it inspiring. This gives him a platform. It's one he's happy to embrace and use. This is why Barnes has chosen to work with a new organization aimed at further making it easier to normalize the use of cannabis in the industry and the world as a whole.
Eaze is California's single largest cannabis marketplace. Barnes is pleased to announce he's joining the organization as a senior advisor to their board. In this valued role, he plans to further his work as an advocate for making marijuana use legal. He also intends to speak out about issues such as cannabis policy as well as the social impact of the substance and how laws have hurt communities like his own. His initial focus is all about ensuring minorities have access to this market. In taking this approach he's confident he can make a difference and help others.