The NBA will reportedly not test players for marijuana during the forthcoming season.
On Thursday (Dec. 3), Ben Dowsett revealed the news on Twitter. “League sources: Continuing a theme from the Orlando bubble, the NBA will not test its players for marijuana for the upcoming 2020-21 season,” he wrote.
In a follow-up tweet he wrote, “Sources say this decision is largely based on COVID safety — just another way of limiting unnecessary contacts. However, there’s also significant expectation from many in the league that the entire marijuana testing program is on the way out in the near future.”
Dowsett then clarified the new regulation. “Important clarification here, per source: The NBA’s random marijuana testing program will not run for 20-21, as reported below,” he tweeted. “However, testing FOR CAUSE — that is, past offenders or those who have given reasonable cause to suspect use — will continue.”
Back in 2019, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that he was concerned about the players abusing the drug and using it during the season. “You might be surprised about it,” he said. “But when I’ve talked to players about it, I think they have mixed feelings — some players. I think it’s not as much about what guys do in the summer. If they want to smoke pot in the summer, whatever. It’s legal in a lot of states, to your point. No issue.”
He added, “I do think there’s a little bit of concern about some of the pot smoking in-season. I think it’s a team sport, and I think part of the reason we have the rules in place — there was a time not so long ago when there were a group of players who felt that maybe there was too much pot being smoked in-season. And look, my personal views, whether it’s pot or alcohol, I think it’s a sedative in certain ways. It’s certainly not a performance-enhancing drug. Let me put it that way.”
Check out Dowsett’s tweets below.
League sources: Continuing a theme from the Orlando bubble, the NBA will not test its players for marijuana for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
— Ben Dowsett (@Ben_Dowsett) December 3, 2020