The National Basketball League (NBA) has a strict drug policy that requires players to be subjected to a minimum of four random drug tests each year. The NBA does not allow players to use marijuana in any form even though medical marijuana is now permitted in twenty three states.
However former NBA player Jay Williams who played for the Chicago Bulls says that close to eighty percent of current NBA players use marijuana in some form or the other. Williams admitted to getting addicted to the drug Oxycontin after he was prescribed it for his injuries and says that he used it regularly for a period of five years. Williams believes that doctors and officials sometimes turn a blind eye to marijuana since it is considered by many to be a gateway drug.
The NBA drug testing policy makes it clear that if a player fails a drug test and is discovered to be using marijuana in any form, he will have to check into a marijuana treatment center for the first offence. A second offence will result in the player having to pay a fine of $25,000 while a third offence could result in a suspension for as many as five games.
In a statement, Williams said “You see pictures of guys in California going in and getting their medical marijuana cards. And I’m not just saying athletes, let’s talk about society. I know a lot of people that use it. It’s something that the whole world is becoming more progressive with. So it’s about time some of these entities do as well.”