The National Basketball Association will no longer test their players for weed.
The league ditched their marijuana testing entirely on Friday under their new collective bargaining agreement, according to NBA insider Shams Charania.
“NBA players will no longer be prohibited for marijuana under the new seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. It’s been removed from the anti-drug testing program, a process that began during 2019-20 season,” Charania tweeted.
Sources: NBA players will no longer be prohibited for marijuana under the new seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. It’s been removed from the anti-drug testing program, a process that began during 2019-20 season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 1, 2023
I believe that this is a good decision that the NBA is making. There are at least 20 states in the United States that have legalized recreational marijuana use, according to the Council of State Governments. For the NBA to continue to come down hard on their players for pot smoking would be silly considering how many states have stopped caring about it.
Despite the negative connotation surrounding marijuana in the past, it seems this stereotype has fizzled out. The NBA’s decision to reverse their stance on cannabis comes off the heels of Commissioner Adam Silver discontinuing testing players for the drug during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. “I think society’s views around marijuana have changed to a certain extent,” said Silver at the time, according to Yahoo.
Phoenix Suns superstar Kevin Durant is one of the biggest names in professional basketball who has supported marijuana over the years. In an interview on Showtime’s “All The Smoke” in 2020, Durant said, “It’s just like, marijuana is marijuana. It’s not harmful to anybody. It can only help and enhance and do good things. I feel like it shouldn’t even be a huge topic around it anymore,” the New York Daily News reported. (RELATED: LaMarcus Aldridge Announces Retirement From NBA After 16-Season Career)
In an interview with David Letterman last year, the future Hall of Famer said, “to me, it clears the distractions out of your brain a little bit. Settles you down. It’s like having a glass of wine.”
“I’m actually high right now.” 😂
Kevin Durant interviews with David Letterman
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) May 22, 2022
With all the traveling that NBA players do, they should have the right to smoke when they want to. Studies performed by the CDC have found that marijuana helps reduce pain. It’d be unjust for the league to continue to punish players for using it if it can help their bodies recover and put their minds at ease during long road trips.
As long as players aren’t using it right before games, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to use it during their free time.