Report: MLB Players Still Face Weed Discipline Despite Removal from Banned List

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 29, 2020

Dan Halem
Dan HalemJohn Raoux/Associated Press

MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem reportedly sent a memo to players last week confirming they can still be punished by the league for breaking marijuana laws, even though the drug was removed from its banned-substance list ahead of the 2020 season.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Friday the memo also noted any players or team personnel who "appear under the influence of marijuana or any other cannabinoid" while within the scope of their employment must still undergo "mandatory evaluation" for a possible treatment program.

Previous punishments for failed marijuana tests were a fine for major league players and a suspension for minor league players.

Halem explained the drug's removal from the banned list doesn't mean all restrictions are gone, per Passan.

"Club medical personnel are prohibited from prescribing, dispensing or recommending the use of marijuana or any other cannabinoid," the memo read.

In addition, Passan noted MLB put the breaks on any players thinking about becoming entrepreneurs in the marijuana industry, stating they will release rules in the future, but "until such guidance is issued, any such investments or commercial arrangements are still considered to be prohibited in accordance with current practices."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters in December the overdose death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs in July was a "motivating factor" in the decision to remove marijuana from the banned list to place greater emphasis on opioids, fentanyl, cocaine and synthetic THC in drug testing.

Previously, players were only tested for opioids if there was "reasonable cause."

The new rules went into effect when spring training got underway in mid-February.

Related

    Kenley Jansen Had COVID-19

    Dodgers closer says he was late to team's summer camp because he had the coronavirus

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Kenley Jansen Had COVID-19

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Stanton Says He'll Be Ready for Opening Day After Calf Injury

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Stanton Says He'll Be Ready for Opening Day After Calf Injury

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Judge Misses Instrasquad Game

    Aaron Boone is hopeful that Aaron Judge will be ready to play by Tuesday

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Judge Misses Instrasquad Game

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    New 'Free Agent' Shirt 🔥

    Cop the merch before it's sold out 🛒

    MLB logo
    MLB

    New 'Free Agent' Shirt 🔥

    B/R SHOP
    via B/R SHOP