Recreational Drug Test Will Remain Suspended In The NBA Giving Green Light For Players To Use Canabis
In a mutual decision by the National Basketball Association and the athletes union, a decision has been made allowing athletes the use of recreational cannabis.
Once the COVID-19 interrupted NBA season will restart, the players will be tested only for performance-enhancing drugs, and nothing else. As the pandemic put a short stop to athletes’ practice sessions, many feared that the players would rely on PEDs to enhance their performance once the season starts. The recent report should reassure everyone concerned, as the athletes will still be tested for drugs, exempting recreational cannabis.
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The NBA and the players union stated that they are still working on health and safety measures. Modest importantly, the short season in Orlando that is supposed to close off 2020 will follow all the safety protocols.
Sources: The NBA and NBPA have agreed to conduct performance-enhancing drug testing during resumed 2019-20 season in Orlando — but tests for recreational drugs will remain suspended.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 8, 2020
On Monday, NBA reinstated Malik Monk, guard from Charlotte Hornets, who was suspended indefinitely after he violated NBA’s drug policy. This only goes on to prove that the league is not interested in enforcing strict anti-recreational cannabis policies.
Many analysts have gone to interpret this move as the NBA’s attempt to stop pouring money on anti-recreational drug testing against athletes. The league is already suffering heavy losses since the pandemic has put a stop to their games.
NBA’s decision to exempt recreational cannabis from their anti-drug policies comes shortly after Creaci Labs, a cannabis company based in Chicago, announced Michele Roberts, onto their board. Michele Roberts, former Harvard Law School faculty member and an experienced attorney is the executive director at National Basketball Players Association. He has been the head of the union since the year 2014.
Roberts has been a strong supporter of legalizing medical marijuana and recreational cannabis since before it was legal. Back in 2018, he stated that the players’ union was looking at options to allow athletes the use of medical and recreational cannabis. Unfortunately, he had added that the federal government was standing against the decision.
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Roberts has been quite vocal in his support too. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, had commented on the issue saying that good folks don’t partake in smoking drugs and added that athletes found guilty would be arrested. Soon after the comment, Roberts criticized the attorney general and called him “crazed.” He added that the union will respect the law and protect the athletes from the federal government.
Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, raised concerns over the contradicting cannabis rules among the state laws. Since the federal and state laws vary from state to state with regards to the drug, there is a possibility that athletes might face charges while traveling.
Cannabis is still classified under Schedule I narcotic, as per the federal Controlled Substance Act. The Drug Enforcement Administration categorizes cannabis with heroin and LSD and defines the drug with no medical value.
In 2019, William Barr, Attorney General, spoke in support of legalizing recreational cannabis across the US.
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