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Major League Baseball removes marijuana from the list of banned substances

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Negotiations between the Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association has resulted in the removal of marijuana from the list of Drugs of Abuse under its joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Testing for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine, and synthetic THC will continue.

Marijuana-related conduct will now be treated in the same way Major League Baseball treats ‘alcohol-related conduct,’ most probably including penalties for DUI.

Although this progress will likely increase public pressure for the NFL to follow suit, they have not shown any interest in removing marijuana from their substance-abuse policy. The league has on several occasions pointed out that it’s a subject of collective bargaining, meaning that if the NFL Players Association wants to have marijuana removed for the policy, the NFLPA needs to make a concession, which they won’t.

It is currently really easy for the NFLPA to navigate the annual testing program under the substance-abuse policy with a small percentage of players being fined or suspended for marijuana use. As things stand, players can smoke throughout the season with the knowledge that they need to stop by the middle of March to allow the metabolites to clear from their system and abstain until they’ve given their annual sample for testing

Of course, players can still end up with problems should they be arrested for possession in a state where it’s still illegal, or if charged for driving under the influence. Those who are sensible should be able to light up for up to 11 months of the year.

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