The NBA will no longer test for cannabis, according to a tentative deal between the league and the National Basketball Players Association. On Saturday, the two sides announced a collective bargaining agreement that still needs to be ratified.
If the agreement is ratified by the players and team governors, the seven-year deal would include a stipulation that cannabis will be removed from the NBA's drug testing program and players will not be penalized for using it, The Athletic reported.
Once a term sheet is completed, specific details will be made available in a statement posted to Twitter by the National Basketball Players Association NBPA. Since day one, the goal of the NBPA has been to protect our players, enrich their lives on and off the court, and establish a framework that recognizes our players as true partners with the governors in both the NBA and business world at large! NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio said.
Three years ago, the NBA reduced the penalties for marijuana use, but never completely got rid of testing because of the epidemic.
The NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league would instead focus its random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse. According to ProfootballTalk, the NFL is holding onto its unpopular no-weed stance as part of collective bargaining, which means that the league wants to negotiate with the NFL Players Association, at least for now.
The league hid behind the fact that it remains a controlled substance under federal law when states in which the NFL does business start to legalize marijuana for recreational use, according to ProfootballTalk.
Many NBA players, including Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant, Al Harrington, Isiah Thomas, and many others, have been open about their weed use and have advocated for legalization of the drug.
I started smoking cannabis when I was in college. Iverson said that during her sophomore year.
Iverson is a weed connoisseur and recently partnered with Al Harrington's Viola Brands to launch a line of cannabis products and merchandise under the name of The Iverson Collection.
Harrington, along with Calvin Megatron Johnson, Ben Wallace, Ricky Williams, and Rob Sims, attended the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago last fall.