The NBA will not test its players for marijuana during the 2020-21 season, sources tell Ben Dowsett.
The league did not test the players in its reboot of the 2019-20 season in the Orlando Bubble and according to Dowsett’s sources, the decision to continue not testing these athletes was predicated mostly on COVID-19 precautions. Yet, it seems that we are inching closer to the league permanently getting rid of marijuana testing.
The drug is already legal in nine of the states and districts that the NBA plays in and has been proven to provide healing effects for the body as well as helping with anxiety.
Many athletes have advocated for the use of marijuana during the season as they try to recover from injuries sustained on the job.
Former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson admitted to smoking that green while in the league.
If the NBA decides to stop testing for the drug it could set a precedent for other sports leagues and companies to follow suit. The change could potentially improve the lives of many of its players.
The ramifications of the NBA’s decision could also help to reverse negative stereotypes created during the war on drugs that adversely and disproportionately affected young men of color. After a summer where the NBA was at the forefront of racial justice, this decision to stop marijuana testing could be crucial in repairing the detrimental impact that coincides with punishing people for this drug.
The movement for nationwide legalization of weed is already growing exponentially.
The NBA will tip off the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22 without the presence of a bubble and will look to push through the impact of COVID-19.