Major League Baseball Drops Marijuana From ‘Drug of Abuse’ List
League will also start testing more rigorously for opioids after player died this summer with mix of alcohol, fentanyl, oxycodone in body
Major League Baseball has removed marijuana from its list of “drugs of abuse” and announced that it will begin testing players for opioids after the league and the MLB Player’s Association agreed on new changes to the Joint Drug Program on Thursday.
As ESPN noted, marijuana offenses could often lead to a player being hit with a $35,000 fine per violation, but the changes to the policy mean marijuana-related offenses will now be treated the same as alcohol-related offenses. Players who test positive for marijuana will now be subject to a mandatory evaluation and will have the option of receiving treatment. Teams and the commissioner’s office can also discipline the player in response to “certain conduct.”
Speaking with ESPN, MLBPA head Tony Clark said the changes to league’s marijuana policy were partly in response to the growth of marijuana legalization around the country. “It was a part of a larger conversation that was reflective of the attitudes changing in many parts of the country,” he said.
These changes will also be implemented in the minor leagues in order to maintain continuity, as minor league players are notably not covered by the union. Previously, minor league players could face suspensions if they tested positive for marijuana on two or more occasions.
Published: December 13, 2019
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