Updated on January 21, 2020.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Major League Baseball (MLB) has agreed to stop
testing minor league players for marijuana, removing the drug from its
prohibited substance list. Players in the major league, who are members of a
union, are already spared marijuana testing.
Previously, minor league players faced a
25-game suspension for a first positive marijuana test, a 50-game suspension
for a second test, a 100-game suspension for a third, and a ban for life for a
fourth, according to TMZ. In 2019, 13
minor league players were suspended for marijuana use, according to CBS Sports.
The decision comes
as MLB is trying to address opioid abuse following the tragic death of
27-year-old Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs from an opioid overdose earlier
this year. Marijuana is a safer
alternative to opioids for treating pain, and studies show
it can help people reduce their opioid use. The league also agreed to place players who
test positive for opioids in treatment, rather than suspending them.