Joining other major sports leagues, the National Basketball Association has loosened its drug testing policy concerning marijuana. When it resumes games next month, the league will no longer test players for recreational drugs.
According to High Times
, the NBA will only test for COVID-19, as well as continue to test for performance-enhancing drugs.
Previously, players were periodically tested for drugs, and marijuana could be penalized with a suspension or a fine.
Last year, Major League Baseball announced that players will be tested for harder drugs such as opioids and cocaine, while marijuana would be treated the same as alcohol. In March, the National Football League stopped suspending players who test positive for cannabis.
Athletes have come out in support of marijuana to treat chronic pain as opposed to opiates, including Detroit Lion Mike James
and former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty.
"It's become a point for me" to discuss medical marijuana, James said. "I know better. At this point for me not to say anything would be a disservice to my teammates. NFL players are four times more likely to become dependent on opiates than the general population."
A 2017 filing of more than 1,800 former players alleged that "players are not informed of the long-term health effects of taking controlled substances and prescription medications in the amounts given to them."
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