Earlier this year, the NBA commission announced that they would be suspending random cannabis testing for all of their players. The beginning of December heard the announced that this suspension would continue into the 2020-2021 season. But there has been pressure from both players and hemp companies to get rid of cannabis testing permanently.
“Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA to suspend random testing for marijuana for the 2020-21 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse,” an NBA spokesperson said back when the season continued suspension was announced.
On December 22nd, 2020, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told NBC’s Today, “We decided that, given all the things that were happening in society, given all the pressures and stress that players were under, that we didn’t need to act as Big Brother right now. I think society’s views around marijuana has changed to a certain extent.”
Commissioner Silver went on to say that they would be testing players who have had a previous dependency concerns. This could be a dependency on cannabis, alcohol, and other drugs. They want to make sure that those players get the help they need. There is no point in punishing players who need help. This decision by Commissioner Adam Silver comes a few months after an MLB announcement. The MLB would no longer be testing their players for any type of cannabis or THC. The MLB also stated that there would be no cannabis company sponsorship after this announcement.
Concerns for the Future
While cannabis seems to be off the table, there is still concern for players and spectators. The new season will be played in all local stadiums. Not just in the ‘bubble’ down in Orlando, Florida. With Covid-19 cases on the rise, it seems that cannabis may be a welcome reprieve from the chaos that is the pandemic.
What do you think about the NBA’s change to cannabis testing? Let us know in the comments below. And, as always, check back for more cannabis and hemp news.