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NBA Eliminates Marijuana Punishment In New CBA

NBA Marijuana

Illustration: Eric Barrow of Deadspin

Illustration Credit: Eric Barrow of Deadspin

NBA Eliminates Marijuana Punishment In New CBA

The NBA and NBPA have reached unity on a new seven-year collective bargaining agreement. Part of the new CBA is that NBA players will no longer be punished for testing positive for marijuana use, according to Shams Charania.

The move is one that the NBA started to motion for during the 2019-20 NBA season. Commissioner Adam Silver helped make the decision to suspend marijuana testing during the “bubble” in Orlando back during the height of COVID-19 quarantine.

“We decided that, given all the things that were happening in society, given all the pressures and stress that players were under, we didn’t need to act as Big Brother right now,” Silver said at the time. “I think society’s views around marijuana has changed to a certain extent.”

The CBA is still pending ratification. Amongst the marijuana news, the CBA has also added a few new rules on spending and trading. Most notably, the rules help the middle-tier spenders field a more competitive team. Also, the NBA is adding another two-way contract per team, meaning that teams can now have three players who can be sent to and from the G-League, as opposed to two.

Other League’s Outlook

The NBA joins the UFC as the league to no longer punish players over a positive marijuana test. The NFL has also relaxed the rules on marijuana use. Unlike the NBA, they have not fully banned punishment for the substance. MLB and NHL also removed punishments for positive tests. Those two leagues treat the drug like alcohol. If the player has an “abnormally large” amount of the drug in their system, they’ll be directed to medical attention rather than punishment.

The NFL announced in 2021 their players will only be tested once per year. If a player fails a test, they are subject to a fine rather than the punishment of a suspension.

The United States is certainly changing its perspective on marijuana use. The NBA is just the most recent party to do so.

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