The medical episode that Heat guard Dion Waiters experienced during a team flight was a panic attack that resulted from “consuming a THC-infused edible,” sources tell Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The incident happened after Thursday’s game in Phoenix, which Waiters missed because of a stomachache. He was trying to relieve that condition when he took a substance that he wasn’t familiar with, according to the ESPN writers, and received medical treatment when the plane landed in Los Angeles. Heat officials declined to comment on the report.
THC is included on the NBA’s list of banned substances. The league, its teams and the Players Association are all prohibited from releasing information about the testing or treatment of players in the anti-drug program, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. The only exceptions involve suspension or dismissal of players for drug violations.
Nahmad notes that players with marijuana violations are required to enter into the league’s marijuana program. There is no penalty for a first violation, but the league imposes a $25K fine for a second offense, a five-game suspension for a third offense and longer suspensions for subsequent violations (Twitter link).
South Florida Fox Sports Radio host Andy Slater reported Friday that Waiters overdosed on “gummies,” which is a term for an edible form of marijuana. Gummies have been readily available in Denver, where the Heat began their latest road trip, since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.
Waiters has yet to play this season and has only been on the bench for two of the team’s nine games. His contract includes a $1.2MM bonus if he plays 70 games, but that seems unthinkable now, especially in light of the new revelations. Waiters is signed through the end of next season and is owed a total of $24.75MM.