To curb opioid use, MLB says yes to marijuana consumption

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The league will no longer be looking to penalize players in the minors if they use cannabis for pain

Major League Baseball (MBL) has been one step ahead of the other major leagues in opening its mind to alternative medicine coming from cannabis. Actually, the MLB already stopped testing players that are part of the roster of 40 members in the minor leagues, but the players that can’t make it to the final roster still go through routine testing. Now, the MLB is planning to remove marijuana from the list of prohibited substances for all minor league players.

This year alone, 13 suspensions were issued to minor league players for cannabis use, and, under the current rules of the league, the suspension is a rough one. For the first positive result, the punishment is set at 25 games, and for the second positive test, it goes up to 50. If a third positive result is obtained, then it will double to 100 games until a lifetime ban is granted with a fourth offense. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, “As part of a new agreement on opioids being negotiated between Major League Baseball and the players’ union, MLB will remove marijuana from the list of banned substances for minor leaguers.”

One of the big challenges the league faces is the abuse of steroids from players, and it seems to be that allowing marijuana consumption gives a more relaxed approach to the problem. Cannabis has no affect as a performance-enhancing drug; however, players claim that it helps to relieve pain and anxiety with no side effects.