According to ESPN and The Athletic, the NBA and the players’ union have signed a new collective agreement. Among the points raised, the right to consume marijuana. This was a long-standing request from players. After the NFL, it is therefore the NBA which legalizes this substance.
The NBA via Adam Silver and the players’ union, of which Christian James McCollum (back of the New Orleans Pelicans) is the president, reached an agreement this Saturday on a new collective agreement. This agreement is valid for seven years and will be effective from next season.
This collective agreement focuses on several points. The first is quite unexpected and concerns the use of marijuana. According to ESPN and The Athletic, the use of marijuana will no longer be sanctioned.
The psychotropic substance will therefore no longer be included in the NBA’s anti-drug program, which therefore imitates the NFL, which had already implemented this measure in 2020. The American Basketball League had started this process during the play-offs of the season 2019-2020 in Orlando during the pandemic. Since that date, marijuana was no longer sought in controls. The NBA focused on doping products, growth hormones and hard drugs (cocaine in particular).
US states have legalized cannabis
The decision is not so surprising since more and more states are legalizing cannabis in the United States. The use of marijuana is authorized in 21 states today against a dozen that consider it totally illegal. Many players wanted marijuana to be removed from the illicit substances, as it is known to have tranquilizing effects for injuries. Kevin Durant, Phoenix winger, had also communicated on his fairly frequent consumption.
The other points of this collective agreement concern a minimum number of matches to be played in order to win individual prizes (MVP, rookie of the year, etc.), the establishment of a new tournament in the middle of the season with group stages followed of a Final 8 on neutral ground. In this Final 8, each match will be knockout, the two finalist franchises will play 83 matches over the whole season. A bonus of 500,000 dollars (460,000 euros) is planned for each player of the winning franchise as well as the coach. In the other points of this collective agreement, the NBA wishes to limit recruitment for franchisers who exceed the luxury tax (17.5 million dollars or 16.1 million euros) and create a boost for the extension of players. The increase cap will increase from 140% to 120% currently.