KEY POINTS

  • Allen Iverson has opened up about how he dealt with criticisms for being known as a weed-smoker
  • Iverson joined Al Harrington in a new marijuana business venture
  • Harrington reveals how "The Answer" is vital for their advocacy

Allen Iverson was in Los Angeles to talk about his new and own strain of marijuana.

On and off the basketball court, Iverson has always been linked to controversies. He is probably looking at dealing with another one with his own weed strain called “Iverson 96.”

The former Philadelphia 76ers guard is currently working hand in hand with fellow former NBA star Al Harrington in promoting the cannabis strain hyped as “a power-punching grape stomper and kush mints combination.”

In an exclusive interview with GQ, Iverson discussed how the “negative stigma” of being a weed-smoker has affected him as a professional athlete, stressing that those who criticized him for it “had it all wrong.”

“[Weed] always had a negative stigma with it,” Iverson explained. “Until all these years later you find out you’ve had it all wrong.”

“I remember getting arrested for having a blunt and being all on ESPN,” he continued. “I was taunted when I was playing. [I was] Called ‘Weed Head’ from people in the crowd. ‘Where’s the marijuana? Who’s got the blunt, AI?’ I had to go through that throughout my career, particularly when I was younger. And look how far it’s come now? That stigma. Them criticizing it as they were, it’s like, ‘y’all had it all wrong.'”

Allen Iverson averaged 26.7 points per game in his NBA career. Allen Iverson averaged 26.7 points per game in his NBA career. Photo: Reuters

Harrington, on the other hand, has been actively doing his part in the legalization of marijuana in professional leagues.

Along with Iverson, Harrington’s $100 million weed business venture called “Viola” seeks to change the way people view the “drug that has been used to over-police and over-incarcerate Black Americans.”

“Bringing someone like [Iverson] along, it amplifies the message,” Harrington said. “We sitting here and doing this not only for us, but we doing this for our people. We doing this for the culture...we want to have an impact in our community.”

Harrington pointed out that he and Iverson are also aiming to alter the apparent misconception that smoking weed certainly makes an athlete “unproductive or lazy.”

“When [Iverson] he explained to me the positive shit that would come from it, as far as helping people, that was a no brainer to me,” Harrington divulged.

“It’ll open up the conversation. These guys do use cannabis on a daily basis and that stigma of,  ‘ you smoke and you’re unproductive or lazy,’ that s--- goes out the window. Right now in professional sports—being that it’s pretty much allowed in all leagues right now, in some shape, form, or fashion.”