On February 20, 2018, GreenSpace Labs (of Boston, MA), a cannabis testing company currently able to detect pesticides, heavy metals and bacteria, announced it had partnered with four-time NBA champion, John Salley, to launch their mobile pesticide screening device, the GreenLite Screener. The technology behind the company’s product was originally developed for the U.S. military to test for nerve agents and toxic metals to keep soldiers safe. The GreenLite has been repurposed to detect pesticides and toxic metals in cannabis from the field, for extraction companies and for independent testing laboratories.
While former players can choose to participate in the cannabis industry, their counterparts in the league today are still banned from use of cannabis in any form. Meanwhile, the union that represents professional basketball players (The National Basketball Players Association or NBPA) thinks they should be able to use medical marijuana without being punished for it by the NBA. The Executive Director of the NBPA, Michele Roberts, said in an interview with SB Nation (published on February 19, 2018), “My own view is that there are substantial signs that support its efficacy and the value that it has
for us, especially pain management…we’re in
talks with the league to see where we can go with it.”
Former NBA Commissioner, David Stern, endorsed removing league penalties for players’ cannabis use last year and current Commissioner, Adam Silver, has stated that he is open to considering a change and believes that, “it should be regulated in the same way that other medications are if the plan is to use it for pain management.” Medical cannabis is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory medications in existence and carries virtually no harmful side effects. It is patently unfair that players, who are subject
to almost constant pain due to inflammation issues, should
be banned from its benefits.