NBA Won’t Randomly Test Players for Marijuana Again for Upcoming Season

In Summary

The policy to not test players for this polarizing drug had been put in place since the 2019-20 season restarted in the bubble in Florida.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced they will not randomly test players for marijuana for the 2021-22 season, according to NBA.com. This news comes as the league celebrates its 75th anniversary. 

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This is an extension of the policy that went into effect during the 2020 restart in the bubble at Walt Disney World Florida, and was carried into the 2020-21 season. However, there will still be drug testing for performance-enhancing substances, human growth hormone, cocaine, methamphetamine and opiates, according to NBA.com. 

“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,” said NBA spokesperson Mike Bass via Twitter

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The NBA put a pause to testing when the action was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, they agreed with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to test players for performance-enhancing drugs in the bubble last summer even though marijuana wasn’t one of them, according to NBA.com. 

The NBA has a reputation of being a progressive league by listening to its players as it relates to social issues. 

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Marijuana has been a polarizing issue concerning Americans, especially athletes. Track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson had qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, but was left off the U.S. team because she tested positive for marijuana. 

Politicians such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamie Raskin have pleaded with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to reevaluate its policies regarding marijuana. 

According to DISA Global Solutions, 32 states have decriminalized marijuana. 

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