NBA and National Basketball Players Association have agreed not to do surprise weed tests
The National Basketballers Association (NBA) will no longer conduct cannabis testing during the 2020-2021 season, following a suspension of testing during a hiatus from play caused by COVID-19. As part of a winning streak for the cannabis industry, the NBA recently announced that it would not randomly test for marijuana during the 2020-21 season.
The move follows recent legislative gains made by the cannabis industry, such as legalizing the plant in five states in the United States in November, passing the MORE law in Congress and recent withdrawal by the United Nations cannabis of the category in Table IV.
Speaking on the NBA's rationale for stopping marijuana use testing, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said: “Due to the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBA 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 ”.
The NBA had previously put the 2020 season on hold due to COVID-19, during which the National Basketball Players Association confirmed that players would not be subjected to drug tests during its shutdown.
Now, as the NBA season returns, albeit with just 72 games off the regular 82-game schedule, players will not be tested for cannabis use until the 2021 season ends.
Cannabis is increasingly used medicinally, for conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer pain, and inflammation. Famous athletes such as MMA fighter Elias Theodorou advocate the use of cannabis in sport as an alternative to potentially dangerous opioids.
Other sports, such as Major League Baseball, have officially removed cannabis from their list of “drugs of abuse,” with an emphasis on fentanyl, opioids, cocaine and synthetic THC instead. than on marijuana use last December.
It remains to be seen whether other sports will follow the NBA and MLB's lead and allow cannabis use. However, as cannabis-based medicines are increasingly seen as legitimate, it will be more difficult for these organizations to close your eyes to this plant.