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The NBA will no longer issue random marijuana tests to players, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
While the NBA will continue to test for performance enhancement substances and drugs of abuse, marijuana is now off the table, something that has been anticipated for a long time. The NBA first instituted the policy in the “bubble” at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex during the resumption of the 2019-2020 season and kept the same policy for the 2020-2021 campaign.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass released a statement to AP NBA writer Tim Reynolds, saying that the league worked with the NBPA to suspend marijuana testing.
“We have agreed with the NBPA to extend the suspension of random testing for marijuana for the 2021-22 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse,” Bass said.
The move will be popular among players and fans, who have preached for years that testing for marijuana was outdated. Former NBA player Matt Barnes is one of many players who have come out and admitted to smoking marijuana during their time in the association. Barnes made headlines back in 2018 when he said he smoked while on the Warriors during their 2017 title run.
With more and more states beginning to legalize marijuana and loosen up on punishments for recreational use, it’ll be interesting to see whether other sports leagues adopt the same policy going forward. One man who would love to see that happen in the NFL is newly signed Chiefs receiver Josh Gordon.
Gordon is infamous for his repeated positive tests for marijuana and the numerous suspensions that followed. Gordon and many other players have used marijuana as a relaxing mechanism. Others claim it has several health benefits.
Bravo to the NBA for taking notice and getting this done. It’s time for the other leagues to follow in their footsteps.