It has been just under two weeks since the Golden State Warriors’ swept the LeBron James-powered Cleveland Cavaliers out of this year’s NBA Finals. And at least one Warrior seems to be enjoying the start of his first off-season as a champion. TMZ Sports caught up with NBA star Nick Young while he was out partying and decided to talk legalization politics.
And whether or not he’s speaking from personal experience, Young had some surprising responses. He thinks countries should legalize cocaine. In fact, he thinks everyone should try it.
Nick Young Wants “The People To Pass Cocaine!”
In a TMZ Sports video, an off-camera reporter catches up with Young as he’s getting in the passenger seat of a friend’s truck.
The reporter starts by telling Young that Canada just became “the first country in the world” to legalize marijuana. (It’s not, by the way. That honor goes to Uruguay.) And before the reporter can even ask Young what he thinks about that, Young interrupts: “I want the people to pass cocaine!”
“Everybody needs to do cocaine,” Young continued. The incredulous TMZ Sports reporter stammers to come up with a reply of his own as Young shuts the door.
The conversation quickly swerves away from cannabis politics back to the League. “What about LeBron,” the reporter asks. “Where would he best fit?”
Ask a Warrior about LeBron James, and you’re bound to get an answer that takes a few shots at the King. Not one to miss an opportunity, Young says he thinks James should stay in Cleveland. “And bring all the people to Cleveland. Bring Shaq, Robert Horry, Dennis Rodman, bring all the old people.”
Is Nick Young’s Idea To Legalize Cocaine Really That Outlandish?
Multiple sources are laughing off Nick Young’s offhand remarks that “the people should pass cocaine.”And given the context of the young NBA star’s comments, that’s understandable.
Young himself even posted to Instagram the next day that he was just joking around. “Clearly dnt take noting I said serious. I was just being funny. Y’all know me,” Young posted.
But is the idea of legalizing harder drugs like cocaine really so ridiculous?
Many drug policy experts, criminal justice reform advocates, and public health officials have called on governments to stop criminalizing drug use. They argue that drugs should be handled as a public health problem, not a criminal issue.
Indeed, evidence continues to show that criminalization is not only racially disparate but tends to reproduce the conditions that fuel illegal drug use and abuse in the first place. Criminalization hasn’t worked to stop people from using drugs. And radical reformers continue to push for the legalization, or at least the decriminalization, of all drugs.
Warriors guard Nick Young’s comments about legal coke also come as more athletes speak out, in a serious context, about opioid addiction and cannabis legalization. Athletes who compete in the most punishing sports, like the NFL and MMA, continue to take the lead as advocates for marijuana legalization.