The Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended Dion Waiters for 10 games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team after having a panic attack following eating an edible on the team plane.
While flying out of Phoenix, Arizona to Los Angeles, California, Waiters consumed a cannabis edible and had a panic attack so severe that he was deemed a danger to the entire team. When the plane landed, Waiters was passed out and reportedly had a seizure when he woke up.
Waiters missed the game against the Phoenix Suns due to a stomachache and took the edible to ease his symptoms. The Heat believe a teammate supplied Waiters with the edible, but Waiters didn’t say who. THC is banned by the NBA, but the NBA Players’ Union has called for the league to allow medical cannabis or at least do research on the potential benefits it can have for its athletes.
“We are very disappointed in Dion’s actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse,” the Heat said in a statement.
The edible incident only adds to a turbulent season for Waiters, who complained about his playing time during the preseason and took shots at his coach and teammate Tyler Herro on social media. Waiters will be available to play the Dec. 1 game against the Nets, if he is still on the team by then. Waiters will lose out on roughly $1.2 million due to contract stipulations that require him to be available to play for a certain amount of games.
Edibles are known to affect people differently than smoking cannabis. Those who don’t abide by common rules regarding minimal consumption or microdosing have often needed to seek out medical assistance.