NBA Removes Marijuana From Banned Substance List, Ends Cannabis Testing for Players in New CBA

We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More
Celtics Is Robert Williams III playing tonight (March 30) vs Bucks

The NBA has made a progressive decision by removing marijuana from its list of banned substances and discontinuing testing players for the drug, The league’s choice to lift the ban comes as part of the new seven-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). This change follows the NBA’s temporary halt to marijuana testing during the 2019-20 season and reflects a broader societal shift in the perception and acceptance of cannabis use.

NBA Stops Testing for Marijuana

During the temporary ban on testing for marijuana in the 2019-20 season, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver highlighted the league’s evolving stance in a press conference, stating, “We decided that, given all the things that were happening in society, given all the pressures and stress that players were under, that we didn’t need to act as Big Brother right now. I think society’s views around marijuana have changed to a certain extent.”

Following through with Silver’s statement, the NBA made the decision to permanently remove marijuana testing as part of the new CBA, as reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

This landmark decision by the NBA signifies a growing trend toward recognizing the potential benefits of marijuana use, both medicinally and recreationally. As more states across the United States continue to legalize or decriminalize cannabis, the NBA’s updated policy reflects the changing societal norms and acknowledges the importance of player well-being.

Could NFL Follow Suit?

The decision to stop testing for marijuana in the NBA raises the question of whether other professional sports leagues will follow suit.

For example, the NFL’s anti-weed policy is still in place due to its current collective bargaining agreement. However, with the NBA leading the way, it’s possible that other leagues may reevaluate their stance on marijuana use in the future.

Other Updates to the CBA

In addition to lifting the marijuana ban, the new CBA includes several other updates:

  • Awards now require a minimum of 65 games played for qualification
  • An increase in the upper limits on contract extensions from 120% to 140%
  • The introduction of a long-rumored in-season tournament, possibly starting in the 2023-24 season with players on the winning team earning $500,000 each

Tamika Tremaglio, Executive Director of the NBPA, shared her enthusiasm on Twitter, stating that the NBPA’s goal in negotiations was 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 the business world at large!”

As the NBA continues to adapt to societal changes, its decision to remove marijuana from the banned substance list showcases the league’s commitment to player well-being and its willingness to align its policies with evolving societal norms.

NBA Betting Content You May Like