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The NBA Announces Suspension of Drug Testing for THC

January 7, 2021 11:24 am ET
The NBA Announces Suspension of Drug Testing for THC

Cannabis and professional sports are a hot topic. Recently the United States federal government discussed the MORE Act which passed the House but is expected to stall in the Republican-dominated Senate. This has set the battlegrounds for the removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act in 2021. Professional sports organizations have started to adopt policies that no longer have harsh penalties over cannabis. Joining other professional sports that have embraced cannabis revisiting their policies, the NBA has announced they will no longer perform random drug testing for THC during the 2021 season.

This literally is a game-changer. With this news, players could now hit the courts after taking a couple of hits. There has been some question and speculation about cannabis being a performance-enhancing drug. Cannabis does not fall into the doping category, such as steroids. One could say that cannabis enhances the performance of an athlete because of its therapeutical properties. Athletes commonly suffer pain and inflammation due to injuries received while playing sports.

Damage is Being Done On and Off Court

They also inflict a lot of damage to their bodies during practices and training. Workout regimens for many athletes push their bodies to extremes. Cannabinoid therapies are found useful by many professional athletes before and after workouts and sporting events. Recently, before Mike Tyson got in the ring with Roy Jones Jr. for their exhibition match, Tyson admittedly consumed cannabis just before the fight, saying, “it’s who I am”. Years ago, this kind of action could have had the results of the fight being tossed out or even had Tyson banned from fighting.

Many different types of professional sports have been impacted greatly by COVID-19. The new social distancing laws that are in place have changed the game, so to say. Stands once packed with fans are now empty or seating only half the crowds they used to. This means that professional sports are going to have to adapt to the times. Changes will need to be made in order to keep the sport so many love alive and thriving. People will still watch televised sporting events just like they have in the past. The focus now, however, will actually remain on the players and the game and not the crowds.

The NBA is Willing to Change With the Times

The NBA appears to recognize the significant role cannabis has played during the global issues caused by COVID-19. Cannabis, which remains illegal on a federal level in the United States, was deemed essential during the pandemic. When many other businesses such as bars, gyms, restaurants, hair salons, and others were shutting their doors, cannabis dispensaries remained open. In a statement to the press, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said,

“Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA to suspend random testing for marijuana for the 2020-2021 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse.”

The Dawning of a New Era

This year’s NBA season could stand to be a lit one. It kicked off on December 22nd, just after the winter solstice and the great convergence of 2021 when planets aligned, ushering in the Age of Aquarius.

The news of the NBA no longer performing random tests for THC is huge. It helps set the stage for other professional sporting associations to do the same. Cannabis has been demonized for far too long. The negative propaganda of decades-old reefer madness was built on the foundation of lies and racism. It was a sad time in American history that must be acknowledged in order for us to move forward as a society. For far too long professional athletes have been punished for cannabis consumption. Recent shifts in policy by organizations such as the NFL and MLB have shown these groups are willing to make changes. The NBA just stepped up the game showing they are more than just willing to make the change; they actually made it. Just imagine if all professional sports were to remove their bans against cannabis.

Athletes across the nation would finally be allowed to choose how they treat their bodies. Rather than being forced to turn to pharmaceutical prescription drugs, which have done so much damage to society, they could choose to utilize cannabis instead. For players in the NBA, this is no longer something they have to imagine. They are allowed to consume cannabis like millions of other Americans. Let’s hope the NFL, NHA, NASCAR, and other professional sporting organizations follow in the steps of the NBA, and hopefully, this change will remain active within the NBA indefinitely not just during these odd times.

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