The NBA has announced that it will continue its policy of no cannabis testing for the 2020-2021 season. Never test players for cannabis again?
Cannabis testing suspended for the first time this year as players ended their season in the Orlando “bubble”. But as reporter Ben Dowsett reported, the basketball league and the players’ union have agreed to maintain the policy at least for next season.
But pressure is mounting on the league to end cannabis testing permanently. Michele Roberts, head of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), who also joined the board of directors of 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 Ben Dowsett. “And we don’t need to know if our players are positive for cannabis.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did not rule out the adoption of new policies on cannabis testing but said the league must proceed cautiously so as not to send the wrong message to youth. He also expressed support for exploring the medical potential of cannabis.
“At the end of the day, I think we all agree that if marijuana was a legal substance like alcohol, you still have to teach young people to use a substance like that appropriately and responsibly so it doesn’t ruin your life,” he explained. “So it’s a complicated subject.
Although the NBA does not randomly test its players for THC; it will continue to test conspicuous players, such as those with a history of drug use.
Earlier this year, the Major League of Baseball announced that players would no longer be tested for cannabis. The NFL also decided to end suspensions for positive tests and to limit the testing window.