For the second season in a row, the National Basketball Association has announced that it will suspend the practice of randomly testing players for marijuana.

A spokesperson for the league announced last week that it will “extend the suspension of random testing for marijuana for the 2021-22 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse.”

Commenting on the policy, NORML’s Political Director Justin Strekal said: “The NBA, like a number of sports leagues, has wisely recognized that it is inappropriate to subject players to drug detection testing for their off-the-court use of cannabis. Their actions are part of a growing trend, and we anticipate that their decision will propel other organizations and companies to make similar changes to their drug screening policies.”

Recently, both the NFL and MLB have amended their drug testing policies so that use of the substance is no longer an offense resulting in a suspension. Last month, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that it would be reviewing its marijuana-related drug testing guidelines for international athletic competitors.

A literature review published in September in the journal Sports Medicine reported that athletes do not perform better under the influence of either cannabis or THC, but that the use of marijuana and/or CBD may aid in their recovery following competition.

Also last month, the nation’s second largest private employer – Amazon.com – announced that it had dropped pre-employment screening for marijuana and that it was reinstating eligibility for former applicants who were denied consideration under its former policies.

Since 2015, cannabis-related testing in the workplace has fallen over five percent, with jurisdictions where marijuana use is legal for adults experiencing a more significant decline.

Several states – Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Montana – now limit employers’ ability to pre-screen certain job applicants for past marijuana use, as do a growing number of municipalities, including Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.

Additional information is available from NORML’s fact sheet, ‘Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace.’

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