As the legal weed boom shuts out Black Americans, the former SuperSonics star is vowing to diversify the industry. So why are cannabis activists mad at their hometown hero?
SEATTLE — He’s not more than three or four pulls into his joint when, standing in a waterfront sculpture park in the middle of the afternoon, Shawn Kemp starts looking around. He’s trying to remember the name of a musicians’ lounge he used to visit in the early 1990s.
“I’ll tell you what it was, man. It was, the name of it was …” he says. “What was it called?”
He shakes his head before taking another drag off his Freddy’s Fuego Animal Gas pre-roll. But it’s not the marijuana that has dulled Kemp’s memory. It’s the years.
“Well anyways,” he says.
The landmark he’s looking for was a 24-hour place where wannabe rock stars could jam, rehearse, record. Kemp, then a young star with the Seattle SuperSonics, got to know some of the musicians and the owner, who learned the 6-foot-10 power forward liked to smoke weed before and after games. But the NBA didn’t just frown upon cannabis; in those days, it could get you sent to prison. So the owner offered Kemp access to the top floor so he could hide out, blaze up, soothe his knees and his mind without worrying about who might smell the smoke. [Read More @ The Washington Post]