More states are legalizing recreational and medicinal cannabis. With these friendly regulations, can NBA players smoke weed without getting into trouble?
As marijuana popularity rises, more celebrities publicly admit to consuming cannabis and buying weed seeds to grow at home. It might be tricky for professional basketball players to confess to using the herb to avoid jeopardizing their careers.
But as usual, a few people break through the norms. Keep reading to find out whether NBA sportspeople can use weed. You’ll also discover several basketball players who smoke and advocate for cannabis.
NBA weed policy
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and NBA agreed to discontinue random cannabis testing for the 2021–22 season. Though the NBA drug testing policy in 2022 is marijuana friendly, the herb isn’t yet legal in the league.
The NBPA/NBA’s Anti-Drug Program bans about 225 substances, including cannabis and its by-products. Players who breach the policy are subject to the following penalties according to their violations:
- First: Participate in the marijuana program
- Second: $25,000 fine and enter the marijuana program (if they aren’t participants already)
- Third: Suspension for five games
- Subsequent violations: Further five-game suspension
How much cannabis can NBA players consume?
The NBA stopped testing for marijuana in March 2020 after the Covid-19 pandemic brought the league to a halt. This move enabled basketball players to smoke weed without worrying about random screening.
The NBA/NBPA collective bargaining agreement states that over 35ng/ml of cannabis metabolites and synthetic cannabinoids are illegal.
How much marijuana can players consume without getting into trouble? Numerous studies suggest that cannabis is detectable in urine, depending on usage.
- First timer: 3 days
- Moderate user: 5 days
- Frequent user: 10 days
- Chronic consumer: 30 days
NBA players who use marijuana frequently should avoid using it 10–30 days before screening. Doing so can prevent the testing from detecting high levels of cannabis metabolites.
Famous NBA players who smoke marijuana
The rules around weed are changing, and more athletes are embracing the reported marijuana health benefits. Others have launched cannabis brands.
Are you wondering what NBA players smoke weed? Here are five NBA celebrities who’ve publicly shared their cannabis experiences.
1. Kevin Durant
Famous NBA player Kevin Durant is among the candid advocates for marijuana in athletics. He confessed to consuming weed since he was 22 in an interview with David Letterman.
The star explained that cannabis calms him down and clears distractions. Durant also partners with Weedmaps, which helps people locate nearby weed dispensaries. He collaborated with the company to stop the stigma around the herb.
2. Allen Iverson
Can NBA players smoke weed? Basketball legend Allen Iverson, alias The Answer, is the best person to respond to this question. At the peak of his career, the police arrested him for marijuana possession.
He narrated his weed experiences during an interview with GQ Sports. “I used to smoke a blunt and drink a Corona, and I’d be straight for the rest of the day.” Iverson also told Forbes that he started using cannabis while in high school.
The Answer collaborated with Albert Harrington to start a line of marijuana products under The Iverson Collection brand. He launched an indica-dominant strain, ‘96, which refers to the year the NBA drafted him.
In a Forbes interview, Iverson explained that Voila’s (Harrington’s weed company) mission to educate about marijuana motivated the partnership.
3. Steve Nash
Basketball Coach Steve Nash is among the NBA players who smoke weed. He publicly admitted to consuming marijuana during the All The Smoke podcast.
The star said, “I was never a smoker, but indica really helps me sleep.” He started using pot after retiring from the league.
Nash shared that marijuana improves his life and helps him have enough energy to become a good father. Nash believes the continued cannabis legalization will help the herb become mainstream for athletes.
4. Ben Wallace
Detroit Pistons forward Ben Wallace is famous for being the only undrafted player to enter the NBA Hall of Fame. Besides campaigning for weed for basketball athletes, he owns a cannabis brand.
Wallace partnered with Rair, a Michigan-based marijuana company, to launch his ganja business. The star sells merchandise like apparel, lighters, and rolling papers. Bud Don’t Lie, Block Party, and Clockwork are his three signature strains.
5. Chris Webber
Former NBA star Chris Webber is arguably one of the most successful basketball players on and off the court. Since retiring in 2008, the star has strongly advocated for cannabis.
He partnered with Jason Wild’s JW Asset Management LLC to launch a $100 million marijuana social equity fund. The duo aims to uplift people of color entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
Webber and Lavetta Willis collaborated to launch the Only Players weed business in August 2022. The company also gives exclusive rights to celebrities like Quavo and Jason Williams.
Former NBA star and co-host for All The Smoke podcast serves as Only Player’s Chief Collaborations Officer. The brand offers celebrity-branded strains, cannabis oils, and products geared toward athletes’ recovery.
What’s the future of marijuana in the NBA?
The NBA drug testing in 2022 puts marijuana off the hook for the entire 2021–22 season. Will this suspension continue in the future?
NBA Hall of Famer Kenyon Martin revealed that about 85% of the league smoked in his 15 seasons career. He appeared on the Bleacher Report podcast that features athletes who use and advocate for marijuana.
The NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, commented on the widespread use of cannabis among athletes on Yahoo Sports. He talked about players’ wellness and revealed that some smoke weed to reduce anxiety.
According to a statement by NBPA to Bleacher Report, the league is open to researching more about the herb. “We will continue to gather information and explore its effects on professional athletes.”
Celebrities like Snoop Dogg also advocate for cannabis to treat the pain and inflammation that athletes experience. Marijuana’s future in the NBA may be positive as more activists call for adopting weed-friendly laws in major leagues.
Jennifer Gallagher, an experienced cannabis grower at SeedSupreme Seedbank. During a 7-year career in the marijuana growing business, Jennifer has gained a high competence in this field. As far as weed is concerned, she knows it all inside out. Jennifer is an expert in pot-growing, as well as cannabis types and their effects. She’s also familiar with all legislation nuances.