Although Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he is “not a pot person,” he smoked marijuana twice in the last couple of years while combating chronic back pain.

Kerr received two back surgeries during the summer of 2015 and took a four-month leave of absence to start the 2015-16 season, returning to the sideline in January. He used various painkillers and treatments and eventually wound up trying marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Kerr said he is not a huge fan of the drug but still supports its general use as a painkiller compared to more harmful opiate drugs like Vicodin.

“I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” Kerr said on The Warriors Insider Podcast. “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, like it’s no big deal.”

Kerr elaborated on his progressive opinions, from CSN Bay Area:

“I know enough, especially over the last couple years, having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff – 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, the different strains what they’re able to do with it as a pain reliever.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball realize that.

“There’s this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine, but pot is bad,” Kerr said, explaining that some folks continue to resist the notion that pot is somehow more treacherous than, say, alcohol, while others have studied the subject and become advocates.

“I would hope especially for these NFL guys, who are basically involved in a car wreck every Sunday – and maybe four days later, the following Thursday, which is another insane thing the NFL does – I would hope that league will come to its senses and institute a different sort of program where they can help these guys get healthier rather than getting hooked on these painkillers.”

This is not the first time Kerr has voiced some progressive opinions. He sided with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s non-violent protests and compared the 2016 presidential election to the Jerry Springer Show.

In regards to marijuana, Kerr is not alone. 25 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana and seven states have approved recreational pot use. The NFL Players Association is also studying marijuana as a pain-management tool.

[CSN Bay Area]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.