(The Sports Xchange) - Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he smoked marijuana to treat the pain as he recovered from two back operations and believes it may be a better option for professional athletes than some painkillers.
Kerr told CSN Bay Area on Friday that he experimented with the drug a "few times" to help him overcome the chronic back pain over the last two seasons.
"I guess maybe I can even get in some trouble for this, but I've actually tried it twice during the last year and a half, when I've been going through this chronic pain that I've been dealing with," Kerr said on The Warriors Insider Podcast.
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"A lot of research, a lot of advice from people, and I have no idea if 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, but I tried it and it didn't help it all.
"But it was worth it because I'm searching for answers on pain. I've tried painkillers and drugs of other kinds as well, and those have been worse. It's tricky."
Kerr, who underwent two surgeries on his back during the summer of 2015, said he still feels discomfort on occasion. He said he does not use the drug recreationally and no longer uses it for medical purposes.
But the 51-year-old Kerr told CSN that he would like to see the league and other organizations become more aware and accepting of medical marijuana use.
"I would hope so, and I'm not a pot person. It doesn't agree with me," Kerr said. "I've tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So 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...
"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 ... I think it's only a matter of time before the NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball realize that."
(Editing by Larry Fine)