Major League Baseball is one of four major professional North American sports leagues that still test for marijuana. It also does not allow the substance to be used as a pain-killing alternative.
This is all taking place in a country that has seen several states legalize marijuana for recreational use while more than two-third of said states allow for medicinal use.
According to this report from Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Major League Baseball and the players’ union are considering easing up restrictions on marijuana use while focusing more on opioids.
“The parties have discussed whether to loosen baseball’s restrictions on marijuana — not specifically as a trade-off for opioid testing, but as part of the annual review of the sport’s drug policy, according to three people familiar with the talks but not authorized to comment publicly on them,” the report read.
Shaikin quotes MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and and players’ association deputy director Tony Clark in noting that the two sides plan to work together on a more in-depth anti-opioid policy. That includes more frequent testing.
While certain opioids are banned under the current CBA, Major League players are rearely tested for it. This comes after Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died back in July while having a combination fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system.
If this were to come to fruition, MLB would be the first of the four major sports leagues in North America to take said action. The NFL’s new collective bargaining policy, which will likely be signed some time before 2021, will likely also include a laxed marijuana policy.
It’s about darn time.