The NBA has officially suspended random marijuana testing for the 2020/21 season, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Ben Dowsett first reported on Thursday that the league would continue to forgo those tests after scrapping them for the summer restart in Orlando. The NBA will only conduct “with cause” tests this season, sources tell Dowsett.
“Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA to suspend random testing for marijuana for the 2020/21 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse,” league spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement (Twitter link via Stein).
Although the coronavirus pandemic is being cited as the motivating factor for eliminating random marijuana tests in 2020/21, there’s no guarantee that the program will ever return in its previous form. As Dowsett writes in a feature for GQ.com, with the non-medical use of cannabis being decriminalized and legalized in more and more states, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts would like to see the testing program eventually removed from the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“I am absolutely confident (that) by next season – at the absolute latest by the time the next CBA is negotiated – this is going to be old news,” Roberts said of the NBA’s random marijuana testing.