In terms of the competition for coolest national sports league, the MLB just pulled out way ahead.
Some leagues (cough… NFL… cough) have maintained a consistent and highly public policy of not giving a shit about their players’ health or right to free expression. This extends to the point of penalizing their players for using doctor-recommended medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids for pain.
As a counterpoint, MLB has recently overhauled their drug policy in an effort to aid their players health. A progressive part of that policy is that cannabis will now be treated basically the same as alcohol.
That means that players in the majors and the minors will now be able to use medical marijuana to treat pain without risk of fines. If a player is seen to be abusing weed, they will be referred to voluntary treatment, again without risk of fines if they don’t volunteer, as reported by High Times.
With a more laissez faire attitude to cannabis comes other changes to the league’s drug policy. Players will now be tested for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine and synthetic cannabis, and referred to treatment if they test positive.
The announcement of the new regulations comes in the wake of the death of Los Angeles Angels’ player Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs died of asphyxiation earlier this year and was found with fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his system.
“The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball,” deputy commissioner and chief legal officer Dan Halem said in a statement.
“It is our hope that this agreement — which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education — will help protect the health and safety of our Players.”