NBA players won't be tested for marijuana next year as league weighs permanent change

Marijuana.com

The NBA is extending its policy of not randomly drug testing players for marijuana for the 2020-2021 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. And insiders suspect that the relaxed cannabis rules will continue indefinitely. Marijuana testing was first suspended earlier this year as players finished out their season in the so-called “bubble” arena in Orlando. But as first reported by freelance journalist Ben Dowsett on Thursday, the league and the players’ union have agreed to maintain that policy, at least for the next season. Sources say this decision is largely based on COVID safety – just another way of limiting unnecessary contacts. However, there's also significant expectation from many in the league that the entire marijuana testing program is on the way out in the near future.— Ben Dowsett (@Ben_Dowsett) December 3, 2020https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js “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. (Bass cont): "…and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse."— Ben Dowsett (@Ben_Dowsett) December 4, 2020https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js But pressure has been mounting on the league to end testing for marijuana permanently. Michele Roberts, the head of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) who also joined the board of the major cannabis company Cresco Labs this year, predicted in a recent interview that the formal change could come as early as “next season.” “We’re not going to expose our players to unnecessary risks,” she told Dowsett in a piece for GQ. “And it is not necessary to know whether our players are positive for marijuana.” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t ruled out adopting new policies on marijuana testing, but he’s said that the league needs to…

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