According to a statement from the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the National Basketball Association and the NBA reached an agreement over the weekend of the 2023-2024 season. The seven-year collective bargaining agreement specifies that NBA players will not be tested or penalized for cannabis use.
Assuming the contract is approved by the team referees and players, the The National Basketball Association’s drug testing program no longer includes cannabis, with cannabis testing still suspended for the current season. The Athletic reported other details of the negotiations, which include:
- NBA players will now have the opportunity to invest in NBA and WNBA teams through the private equity firm chosen by the NBPA. In addition, players attending the NBA Combine will be required to undergo physical exams, which will be shared with select teams based on player expectations.
- Rollover limits for veterans will now increase from 120% to 140%, resulting in greater flexibility and significant impacts. Currently, the CBA stipulates that teams and players can only increase a player’s salary by 120% during the first year of the extension unless the player is a designated player or earns less than the league’s average salary.
- To be eligible for important individual league awards, such as All-NBA and MVP recognition, players must have participated in at least 65 games. Furthermore, beginning with the 2023-24 season, the NBA In-Season Tournament Championship team will receive $500,000 in prize money for each player.
- Under the new CBA, a second tax yard will be introduced. When a team goes beyond this apron, they will lose the mid-level taxpayer exception. In addition, teams will now be able to offer a third, two-way contract by excluding the cap. The CBA would also create a new exception for second-round selection, allowing teams to sign for the second round without using the mid-level exception.
Tamica Tremaglio, executive director of the NBPA, tweeted that these negotiations from the start were meant to protect players and enhance their lives on and off the field. The plan was also to create a structure that recognizes our players as true partners with the referees in the NBA and the wider business world. ”
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, it showed up The National Basketball Association has stopped random drug testing for marijuana. This policy has been extended for the 2021-22 season. During this period, NBA spokesman Mike Bass announced that the league would focus its random testing program on performance-enhancing substances.
The NBA stated on Twitter that it will release detailed information once the terms sheet is finalized.
Cannabis policy in other sports
For the 2020-2021 season, the The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement revised the league’s marijuana policyand allowing players to use cannabis during the holiday season while still banning it during the game season.
In addition, the CBA increased the threshold for a positive marijuana test from 35 nanograms to 150 nanograms and eliminated suspensions for positive drug tests, replacing them with fines. Previously, the league randomly tested ten players from each team per week during the season, and six positive tests resulted in a one-year ban.
In the 2019 offseason, the MLB has eliminated marijuana from its list of banned substances, and allowing players to take the drug in their spare time. However, players can still face the consequences of using cannabis if they display its effects during practices, games, workouts, meetings, or other activities related to their employment.
Cannabis is not considered a banned substance by the NHL, and players will not be penalized for testing positive. If a player’s urine test shows “unusually high levels,” he may be offered entry, which he can refuse, into the league’s substance addiction and behavioral health program. Despite this, the NHL will not be informed of their participation.
The Olympics adheres to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s drug policy, which prohibits the use of cannabis during competition season but allows it during the offseason. Chakari Richardson, American Olympic sprintermade headlines after being disqualified from the Olympic Games in 2021 due to a positive marijuana test.
She tested positive after winning the Olympic Trials in Oregon, where marijuana is legal. However, because the American Track Federation is affiliated with the Olympics, it also adheres to WADA’s drug policy.
Some NBA players have been suspended for using cannabis
During the 2020-2021 season, Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Malik Beasley was suspended without pay for 12 games after being arrested for possession of cannabis and concealing stolen property. The comment cost him $1.1 million.
During the 2019-2020 season, Miami Heat guard Deion Wieters was suspended without pay for ten games. This was after him He suffered a panic attack on a team trip due to To consume an edible substance filled with THC.
During the 2013-2014 season, Larry Sanders was found to have tested positive for cannabis and was subsequently suspended without pay for at least 10 games. As a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks, Larry Sanders was suspended for cannabis use and missed the last five games of the 2013-2014 season. Before his contract expired, the Bucks bought him for $15 million.
In the 2006-2007 NBA season, Sacramento Kings forward Maurice Taylor was suspended for five games without pay due to his third positive test for marijuana use. He had previously admitted to using marijuana and was suspended for the first five games of the 2002-2003 season.
We can see that the regulations for marijuana use in sports have changed over time. While some leagues have removed it from their list of banned substances, others have modified their rules or replaced penalties with fines. The marijuana-related penalties included suspensions and financial losses for the athletes. It’s unclear how these rules will evolve in the future as more and more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use.