The NBPA released a memo to players informing them that they will not be subject to random tests for marijuana during this season.
After the NBA season froze in March 2020, the league stopped testing NBA players for any types of drugs. But when players were brought back for the NBA Bubble restart in July and the league reintroduced testing for drugs, marijuana was not tested for. It wasn’t tested for in the 2020-21 season and won’t be this coming season.
As reported by ESPN, players received a memo from the NBPA stating that the league would continue to refrain from testing for marijuana throughout the season. However, drugs that fall under human growth hormones, performance-enhancing drugs and “drugs of abuse” such as methamphetamine, cocaine and opiates will remain tested for.
For decades, the league had a longstanding policy against marijuana as it does for most drugs but in recent years, just as the general stigma for the drug began to change nationally so did it begin to change in the minds of NBA league offices.
In 2017, on former NBA player Al Harrington’s short documentary ‘The Concept of Cannabis,’ former NBA commissioner David Stern, who ran the league from 1984 to 2014, said, “I’m now at the point where, personally, I think it probably should be removed from the banned list”
The same year, Adam Silver, the NBA’s current commissioner, expressed a willingness to reconsider the league’s stance on the drug for recreational purposes.
As of today, the recreational use of marijuana is legal in 18 states, plus the District of Columbia. By choosing not to test for the drug, the NBA is keeping up with the nation.