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NBA insider speculates on marijuana use by players in Orlando bubble

The NBA will not test for recreational drugs during its resumption of play in the Orlando, Fla., bubble, and a league insider recently estimated how much marijuana players whose teams make a deep playoff run will need to have on hand.

Marcus Thompson II, who covers the Golden State Warriors for The Athletic, recently took a deep dive into NBA players’ marijuana use ahead of season restart scheduled for July 30 at the Walt Disney World Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

By Thompson’s estimation, players who use marijuana recreationally will likely require upwards of one pound of it should their teams remain in Orlando for the long haul. Teams that make it to the NBA Finals could be in the bubble for a maximum of 82 days, according to the league’s current scheduling.

Thompson writes that issues involving marijuana were among the “most pressing questions” about the NBA restart that “wasn’t asked publicly.” However, Thompson reports, “it was asked.” Former NBA player Al Harrington, currently an owner of a cannabis business, weighed in on the situation.

“Bring more than you think you’re going to need,” Harrington told The Athletic. “You might have that teammate who’s never smoked and might want to try it since they’re stuck in a bubble. So you might be supplying other people.”

Harrington argued that it would be “damn near inhumane for [players] not to have marijuana” in the Orlando bubble.

The NBA is encountering no shortage of issues, logistical or otherwise, heading into the season restart. It remains to be seen whether marijuana ends up as one of them, although it merits noting that the NBA is perhaps the most progressive professional sports league when it comes to cannabis.

Such a comparatively neutral stance, however, makes sense given an informal player poll earlier this year estimates “at least 50 percent and as high as 85 percent” of NBA players use marijuana recreationally.