Former NBA player Al Harrington wants to see marijuana legalized in California. He believes in it so much that he recently starred in this ad that was produced by Drug Policy Action in support of Proposition 64, which calls for weed legalization in The Golden State:

Harrington also spoke with The Undefeated recently about why he has become such an advocate for it. In the story, written by Justin Tinsley, Harrington talked at length about how he used marijuana to deal with the pain that came along with having knee surgery back in 2012. According to him, he was "sick as a dog" and suffering from a staph infection following the surgery, and he found that black oil pills—which are cannabinoids that reduce pain and inflammation—helped him recover. "I felt good," he said. "When you’re playing, you obviously can’t jump out there and say you’re doing all that type of stuff. But I’m living proof that you can manage pain without all the pharmaceuticals."

Additionally, he told The Undefeated that he once recommended the medicinal use of marijuana to his own grandmother. Viola Harrington suffers from a condition brought on by her glaucoma that makes it hard for her to see. Back in 2011, Harrington suggested that she try smoking weed to see if it would help, and while she relented at first—"Boy, I ain’t smokin’ no marijuana!" she said—she eventually agreed to experiment with it. Harrington researched the best strain of marijuana for those suffering from glaucoma, got his hands on "Vietnam Kush," and changed his grandmother’s life. About an hour after using it, she told Harrington she was able to do something she hadn’t done in a long time. "I haven’t been able to read the words in my Bible for three years," she said.

That led to Harrington taking a deeper interest in marijuana, and at the moment, he’s considering opening up a marijuana shop one day. His plan is to hire those who have been jailed for marijuana possession in the past to help him run it.

The remainder of The Undefeated piece takes a closer look at how the criminalization of marijuana has affected the state of California and the rest of the country over the years, especially as it pertains to the black community. It also mentions other ex-NBA players who are fighting to try and legalize weed. You can read it here.