This upcoming season, not only will NBA players not have to worry about Kyrie Irving busting their ass all year—that is, unless he finally decides to get vaccinated—but they won’t be subject to random marijuana testing.
As Sporting News notes, the league adjusted the policy last season after the coronavirus was kind enough to magically appear and ruin all of our lives:
The NBA first adjusted the policy during the 2019-20 season restart, which featured 22 of the 30 teams entering the Walt Disney World Resort “bubble” in Orlando, Fla., to complete the season after the league suspended play because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA then announced prior to the 2020-21 season that it would not conduct randomized testing for marijuana, once again to focus the random testing program on “performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse.”
This grand reveal comes courtesy of a players’ association memo that was shared with players and obtained by ESPN on Wednesday.
As marijuana use has become increasingly legalized throughout the country, it’s safe to assume that the NBA won’t be testing for it anymore anytime soon—especially since so many players already partake at their leisure.
From NBC Sports:
Six different NBA players, who did not want to be identified, estimated that the percentage of active players using marijuana in some form—buds, edibles, concentrates, CBD oils, lotions, patches—was at least 50 percent and as high as 85 percent.
We’ve already seen how archaic bans on marijuana can adversely impact sports, as evidenced by track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension from the Tokyo Olympics over a failed drug test. And as long as NBA players don’t do anything incredibly stupid to embarrass themselves or their franchise—like, oh, I don’t know...ingesting gummies on a team plane and subsequently having a panic attack—does anybody really give a shit? Exactly. So why pretend to care about players using marijuana?
This is the right decision, and hopefully, other professional sports leagues and governing bodies follow suit.