The basketball organization will no longer test players to see if they consume marijuana
The NBA has been doing a fine job of keeping the sport going during this terrible pandemic of COVID-19 in the US. They took the innovative steps of placing all participating teams in a bubble down in Orlando, Florida, at Disney World. That worked out pretty well and the potential spread of the virus with so many people in one place was avoided. It was during the time in the bubble that the customary checks for marijuana were relaxed, and many insiders in the NBA think that this relaxed policy will continue indefinitely. As a matter of fact, the league and the players union have been meeting recently and have agreed to go forward without further testing for marijuana, at least for this next season.
Professional basketball players, even if they’re young adults, are all old enough to know what is good for them and what is not. Random drug testing implies mistrust on the part of management and creates bad karma with the players. Besides, the players are already being tested for COVID-19 on a regular basis. The league put out a statement, “Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA 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.”
Many in the league are hopeful that this move will be an end to marijuana testing permanently. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stresses the need to proceed carefully so as not to send a wrong message to young people. Silver said in an interview, “At the end of the day, I think we all agree that, whether or not marijuana is a legal substance, just like with alcohol, you still have to teach young people how to use a substance like that appropriately and responsibly.”