The MLB no longer considers marijuana drug abuse
For many years, strict stances on substance use dominated the sports industry. Aside from the apparent disapproval of performance-enhancing drugs, testing positive for any number of controlled substances could land athletes in hot water.
With the legalization movement changing perceptions of cannabis, a grey area of legality left many players confused. In many instances, a positive marijuana test got an athlete suspended immediately – even if it was entirely legal.
These circumstances rightfully sparked criticism and controversy among the sports industry – with parties advocating for both sides. In a landmark decision, Major League Baseball (MLB) made a huge announcement about how they will handle these situations in the future.
What was the announcement?
MLB will drop marijuana from its “drugs abuse list.” What this means is that players who test positive for natural cannabinoids will not face any disciplinary action. Players no longer have to worry about any hemp or CBD products they use – medical or otherwise. Even natural cannabinoids containing THC will no longer face punishment.
It is a massive win for the marijuana movement. This decision will help normalize marijuana – which will be “treated the same as alcohol-related conduct,” according to the MLB.
Are there any other changes to policies?
As marijuana drops from the list – some other controlled substances will be added to these routine drug tests. Among these additions are fentanyl, synthetic THC, and opioids.
Another groundbreaking move will also come from MLB policy changes as to how they respond to positive drug tests. When an athlete tests positive for any prohibited substance, they will not face immediate suspension.
Instead, MLB will take a much different approach that attempts to address any underlying problems or suspected substance abuse. Players who test positive will meet with the Parties’ Joint Treatment Board. Their team of medical professionals will conduct an evaluation and determine a personalized treatment plan.
So long as the players follow these recommendations and act accordingly, players won’t need to worry about any intense discipline.
Players will undergo educational programs highlighting the dangers of opioids for pain management.
Why are opioids considered dangerous?
As athletes are highly vulnerable to physical injury, opioid addiction is a real problem. While these narcotics are highly effective at pain management – their effectiveness comes at a price.
Opioids come with a risk of addiction and overdose. Unfortunately, it is a rather prevalent problem in the United States. Spreading awareness about the dangers of such medication is a significant first step towards confronting the sports industry’s opioid crisis.
Additionally, leniency in attitudes towards natural cannabis opens up possibilities for athletes to consider medical marijuana for pain management.
Hopefully, MLB will set a standard that will spread with other professional sports leagues.
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