Why Does Mexico’s President Disparage The NBA’s New Cannabis Policy?
Outgoing Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is not a fan of cannabis consumption, nor is he a fan of current cannabis policies in the United States. He will soon be replaced by a new incumbent after the dust settles on the 2024 election, as both major political parties in Mexico have nominated other people for the upcoming election.
It appears that the outgoing politician is getting crankier by the day, particularly towards cannabis policy north of his nation’s border, and for reasons that do not quite make sense to me, he extends that resentment to the National Basketball Association (NBA).
During one of his recent daily press conferences, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador aired grievances against the United States in regard to the nation’s overall approach to drug policy. He described it as “very misguided” and asked why the NBA permits cannabis use by its players.
Mexico’s president was referring to changes made to the NBA’s cannabis policy earlier this year via the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement that removed random cannabis testing for NBA players. Previously, NBA players were randomly tested four times a year and held to the lowest THC threshold out of all of the professional sports leagues (ten times less than the Olympics’ threshold).
It’s worth noting that the NBA does not technically allow its NBA players to consume cannabis. The new collective bargaining agreement still has provisions and processes for teams to mandate that a player enter the league’s substance abuse program if they deem the player’s cannabis use to be problematic.
Regardless, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s fixation on the NBA’s cannabis policy change is puzzling given the fact that it has nothing to do with U.S. politics. The NBA, just like every other sports league and basically every employer, gets to set its own cannabis testing policy.
This is not the first time that Mexico’s current president has disparaged the NBA’s current cannabis policy. Back in April, he tweeted various nonsense about the War on Drugs, with a heavy emphasis on fentanyl, then tried to pivot those grievances towards the NBA, seemingly indicating that because the NBA doesn’t randomly test for cannabis now, somehow that contributes to the fentanyl epidemic.
Cannabis prohibition does not work, and that is true in professional sports just as much as it is in society. It does not lower cannabis usage rates. All it does is provide authorities the ability to selectively enforce prohibition policies on individuals that they do not like, and that is unacceptable by every measure. Hopefully Mexico’s next president will be on the right side of history.