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9 Things We Learned From Al Harrington’s ‘The Concept of Cannabis’ Documentary

Published on February 20, 2018 · Last updated December 29, 2021
9 Things We Learned From Al Harrington's 'The Concept of Cannabis' Documentary

Recently, UNINTERRUPTED, a sports and entertainment content network, released The Concept of Cannabis, a short documentary on former NBA player-turned-cannabis-entrepreneur Al Harrington. The film follows him around his facilities and home office as he discusses his transition from sports to cannabis and the reasons behind starting his businesses. It ends with an interview of former NBA commissioner David Stern on his prior and current opinions on the rules surrounding cannabis in both the NBA and other professional sports.

Though it’s only 14 minutes long, The Concept of Cannabis includes a good amount of information and foreshadows a few changes that could potentially affect the industry in the near future. Here’s a list of nine things viewers will learn from watching it.

1. Over 70% of Athletes Get High

Athletes like to get high. Of course, we already knew that, but when you see an actual member of the other side admit it, the confirmation can be very eye-opening. According to Harrington, over 70% of athletes indulge in cannabis and its many medical and recreational benefits, which fully reinforces the argument that it’s ridiculous for it to still be on the Banned Substances list.

2. Drug Tests Are Hella Easy to Pass

Harrington admitted to playing the latter part of his career while using CBD as treatment and it never coming up on a drug test. If all these players are using cannabis, or other drugs, for that matter, it’s clear that the system is solely built on the standards of insurance and not actual “drug” prevention.

Pro sports leagues don’t care about players using substances, they care about being able to tell fans and the media that the athletes were tested. So if it’s that easy to athletes to hop over the testing hurdle, why are we still wasting time with testing them for the one substance that could actually benefit their health and prolong their careers? Especially when a lot of these teams are located in legal states?

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3. CBD Could Completely Replace Painkillers as a Form of Athletic Rehabilitation

According to Business Insider, the average career span for an NBA player is 4.8 years. Harrington played for 17 years, and he still plays in Ice Cube’s BIG3 league for retired players. With us seeing so many great athletes’ careers end prematurely due to injuries, wouldn’t it be wise to explore CBD as a medical treatment that may be able to prolong their playing years? If it’s worked for Harrington, surely it can work for others.

Additionally, we know how addictive painkillers can be, and there are plenty of stories of both current and retired athletes falling into drug addiction due to medical habits developed during their playing years. If CBD can be as, if not more, effective a pain reliever than all of these wicked pills, shouldn’t medical professionals explore it as a solution?

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4. All Senior Citizens Should (Probably) Be Using CBD

Harrington said his grandmother used CBD and her pain from glaucoma and diabetes disappeared immediately. CBD should be considered for anyone who’s dealing with chronic pain or symptoms of various diseases and ailments, not just professional athletes in peak physical condition. David Stern mentioned during his interview that he was prescribed 90 Oxycodone for whatever ailments he experiences. Imagine how many other senior citizens are popping pills like crazy just to get out of bed and function as a normal human on daily basis. If they were to replace those with CBD pills, oils, topicals, and other cannabis products, they’d probably feel a lot better, and maybe even live a little longer.

5. It Takes Hella Money to Jump Into the Legal Cannabis Industry

So far Harrington has invested $3.5 million into his cannabis businesses. Of course, he has multiple farms and products, but it’s still an accurate reflection of how expensive it is to get into this game. I remember taking a tour of a facility in Seattle, and the owner said his first grow facility cost him $20,000 to get off the ground. So yeah, there’s a lot of money to be made in the cannabis industry, but you’ll still have to turn your pockets into Hoover flags for a proper entrance.

6. Cannabis May Be the Natural Transition From Sports to Post-Retirement Careers

Most athletes struggle with life after retirement. They don’t know what to do or who they are after dedicating the majority of their existence to sports, and it causes a lot of them to lead lost and dark lives of depression. If most athletes are cannabis enthusiasts, moving into cannabis entrepreneurship after sports may become the natural progression with many of them. Cliff Robinson, Eugene Monroe, and now Harrington have already displayed how seamless the transition could be.

7. The Athlete Movement Needs a Big Name Behind It

As with all things, it often takes a big name/brand to be the face of change before a cause can truly reach mainstream eyes and ears. We’re already seeing momentum start to build with young stars like Karl Anthony-Towns speaking up about the possibilities/advantages of medical marijuana use. But many people won’t take it seriously until the likes of a LeBron James/Odell Beckham comes forward and says, “Hey, this sport is taking an extreme toll on our bodies, and we need to explore all options of treatment/recovery/rehabilitation.”

8. Kids Should Be Educated on Cannabis

Cannabis has both positive and negative effects, and kids should be educated on both, which will combat the stigma and also ensure that when they’re old enough, they’ll approach it responsibly. Cannabis is not going away—as time progresses, more states will legalize medical (and in time, recreational) use. It will be all around us before we know it.

Just like sex education can help ensure kids make wise and safe decisions, so can cannabis education. The “weed is a bad drug, rawrrrr” times are completely out the window in the internet age, and with so much misinformation available, we should make an effort to ensure the next generations are able to access fact-based research and findings.

9. David Stern Now Supports Medical Marijuana

Older generations also need to learn about cannabis, especially considering they were alive and well during the conception of the war on drugs. Propaganda and misinformation have been flooded into their brains for decades, and if The Concept of Cannabis serves as any proof, a proper education can dispel the falsehoods and open their eyes to the many benefits of medical marijuana usage.

David Stern, for example, was such a wanker about cannabis, but after his conversation with Harrington he was able to see the error of his ways. This could become the case for thousands of older people, and in turn, it can expedite the process of cannabis legalization on a federal level.

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Danté Jordan
Danté Jordan
Danté Jordan is a cannabis writer based in Los Angeles. He's written for Leafly, Weedmaps, High Times, and many more publications.
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