Professional basketball players in America’s NBA will no longer be subject to any further tests for cannabis use, and cannabis will be dropped completely from the NBA’s anti-drug testing programme, according to a report in The Athletic.
The news was part of a package negotiated by the players’ union The National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA), and NBA officials. The deal is expected to come into effect this summer, and last for at least five years.
Sources: NBA players will no longer be prohibited for marijuana under the new seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. It's been removed from the anti-drug testing program, a process that began during 2019-20 season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 1, 2023
Full details of the agreement have not yet been confirmed by either the NBPA or the NBA, due perhaps to formalities that reportedly need to be completed before the deal can be ratified. However, industry insider and senior reporter for The Athletic, Shams Charania tweeted on Saturday morning that the agreement also contained details allowing players to invest their money into and promote cannabis companies, as well as gambling businesses.
Game changer: The league's new collective bargaining agreement will give players the ability to invest in NBA and WNBA teams, as well as promote and/or invest in sports betting and cannabis companies, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 2, 2023
The NBA stopped testing players for cannabis during the first wave of COVID-19 lockdown, releasing a statement at the time suggesting players needed to be able to relax during the pandemic. It could still test players for cannabis use if they appeared to be under the influence. The then Commissioner of the NBA Adam Silver said, “we didn’t need to act as Big Brother right now.
The news comes in the same week as the American musician Diplo reported that he had taken LSD to complete the LA Marathon in under four hours.