The NBA Has Done Away With A HUGE Part Of Its Drug Testing Policy….


The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have taken a bold step forward, reaching a tentative labor agreement over the weekend that eliminates penalties for athletes using marijuana and removes the substance from the league’s drug testing program. This new policy reflects a progressive shift in society’s views on cannabis and sets an example that other professional sports organizations should follow.

The seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement, which requires ratification from players and team governors before becoming official, marks a significant change in the NBA’s stance on marijuana use. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced in late 2021 that the league would cease random drug testing for cannabis after reportedly easing regulations during the pandemic.

Silver acknowledged the shift in societal attitudes towards marijuana, stating, “We decided that, given all the things that were happening in society, given all the pressures and stress that players were under, we didn’t need to act as Big Brother right now.” This decision illustrates an understanding that players, like the rest of society, should be allowed to make their own choices regarding cannabis use.

In addition to changing its position on marijuana, the tentative agreement also includes provisions that allow NBA players to promote and invest in betting and cannabis companies, sign non-gambling endorsement deals with sports betting companies, and invest in NBA and WNBA teams via an NBPA-selected private equity firm, among other terms. These changes indicate a growing acceptance of the cannabis industry and its potential as a legitimate business opportunity.

Tamika Tremaglio, executive director of the players association, stated that more details would become available once officials finalize a term sheet. She said, “Since day one, the goal of the NBPA in this negotiation was to protect our players, enrich their lives on and off the court, and establish a framework that recognizes our players as true partners with the governors in both the NBA and the business world at large!”

Players like Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant have long advocated for the medicinal use of marijuana for athletes. Durant has even entered a multi-year deal with Weedmaps, an online weed marketplace, to help destigmatize the plant. The growing acceptance of cannabis use among NBA players reflects a broader trend in society and demonstrates that the NBA’s policy change is both timely and appropriate.

Other professional sports organizations should take note of the NBA’s progressive stance on marijuana. The National Football League, for example, reduced potential penalties for marijuana use three years ago but did not entirely exclude testing for the substance. In January 2021, the Ultimate Fighting Championship dropped penalties for fighters testing positive for marijuana, recognizing the importance of focusing on an athlete’s consumption on the day of a fight rather than days or weeks before.

The NBA’s decision to eliminate penalties for marijuana use and remove the substance from its drug testing program is a significant step forward. It acknowledges the shifting societal views on cannabis and respects the choices of its athletes. Other professional sports organizations should follow the NBA’s lead and reconsider their policies on marijuana use, embracing the potential benefits and opportunities the cannabis industry can offer.

Sources: DailyWire, The Athletic

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