The era of cannabis testing NBA players is over. On April 1, the league announced a new collective bargaining agreement with its players’ union. Among the terms, according to sports website The Athletic, was a deal to remove cannabis from the NBA’s drug testing program.
The NBA actually stopped being a workplace that tested for weed three years ago, during the “Bubble” tournament in Orlando, Fla. At the time, Commissioner Adam Silver said that amid pandemic stresses, “we didn’t need to act as Big Brother right now.” That meant the league stopped randomly testing for cannabis, although it could test if players showed signs of use.
A spokesman for the Trail Blazers—a team that plays in a state where recreational cannabis is legal and weed is basically free—could not immediately be reached for comment.
The news might be most significant as a measurement of how much has changed since the days when Portland sportswriters conducted their own urine test of a Trail Blazers player. That test, conducted in 2004 after Damon Stoudamire “embarrassed the city” by trying to take cannabis on a plane, marked a low moment in the relationship between white Oregon sportswriters and the Black players they covered. WW took a closer look at that era in 2018.
Anyway, now we’re one step closer to letting cops smoke weed.