Considering Some State Laws, This Actually Makes Sense

On Sunday, The Daily Wire reported the following:

NBA officials and the National Basketball Players Association reached a new tentative labor agreement over the weekend that no longer penalizes athletes for using marijuana and removes the substance from the league’s drug testing program.

Both parties reached the new seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement early Saturday morning, which still needs players and team governors to ratify the deal before becoming official.

Recreational use of marijuana is legal in twenty-one states, and medical marijuana is legal in many others. To prohibit athletes from using something that may be legal in their home states makes no sense. I disagree with the legalization of recreational marijuana, but banning the use of a substance that is legal in many states makes no sense.

The article notes:

Aside from changing its position on marijuana use, The Athletic details other negotiations in the tentative agreement, which include allowing NBA players to promote and/or invest in betting and cannabis companies, sign non-gambling endorsement deals with sports betting companies and invest in teams in NBA and WNBA teams via an NBPA-selected private equity firm — among other terms.

According to the outlet, the reversal would go into effect this summer through the 2029–30 season if both parties do not opt out by the end of the 2028–29 season.

The article concludes:

“The Band-Aid has been ripped off in the sports world,” Durant said. “It’s kind of an undercover thing that players use cannabis and use it throughout when they’re actively playing.”

Former NBA players, including Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Allen Iverson, have also been open about their cannabis use, according to Insider.

NBC Sports reported the National Football League reduced potential penalties for marijuana three years ago in a similar deal but did not completely exclude testing for the substance as more states started to legalize cannabis for recreational use — creating a conflict between the league and the law.

It will be interesting to see if this decision impacts the quality of play in the NBA. I do suspect that marijuana might be useful in dealing with the kind of pain that professional athletes deal with. Masking that pain might result in better athletic performance, but it also might result in further damage to whatever is causing the pain. Again, it will be interesting to see what impact this decision has on the National Basketball League during the upcoming season.


About That Unequal Distribution of Wealth Thing

When Occupy Wall Street was protesting, one of its claims was that the ‘fat cats’ on Wall Street were getting richer while everyone else was getting poorer. They claimed to be fighting for a more equitable distribution of wealth. Of course, corporations have always been charged with overpaying their executives while underpaying those in the lower levels of the work force. However, in these protests, one area of ‘unequal distribution of wealth’ has been overlooked.

Today’s Washington Examiner posted an article about the increases in the pay for union leaders that is occurring as union membership decreases.

The article reports:

The only thing keeping Big Labor from becoming an incidental factor in the American workplace is that government employees are five times more likely to be unionized than those in the private sector.

The article further states:

A total of 428 private sector union leaders were paid at least $250,000 annually, and the top 100 of those made more than $350,000, according to a study of Department of Labor data by Media Trackers, a conservative, nonprofit investigative watchdog group. The highest-paid union leaders work for organized professional athletes, with G. William Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, who received $3.2 million. The only government employee union leader in the top 10 is Gerald McEntee, international president of the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees, whose $1.2 million compensation put him fourth on the list.

I have no problem with people being compensated for what they do, but if you are going to complain about what corporate executives earn, you need to also look at what union leaders are paid.

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