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MLB Drops Marijuana, Adds Opioids

Posted by Steve Karimi | Dec 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Perhaps it's a sign of the times we are living in, with ten states legalizing recreational marijuana while a major opioid epidemic still rages across the country, but Major League Baseball has announced that they will remove marijuana from their list of “drugs of abuse.” 

Joint Statement

Major League Baseball and the players union announced in a joint statement that when players are tested for drugs of abuse, they will be tested for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine, synthetic THC and other substances, as well as Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. But natural cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and marijuana will be removed from the list. Players who exhibit marijuana-related conduct will be treated like those with alcohol-related conduct, meaning they will have to undergo a mandatory evaluation and voluntary treatment.

Opioids Added After Pitcher's Death

On July 1, 2019, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in a Texas hotel room while on a road trip. An autopsy later revealed Skaggs had choked on his own vomit after using opioids and alcohol. Fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol were found in his system. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, has been found in counterfeit oxycodone and has been linked to other famous deaths such as Prince and Tom Petty.

public relations employee for the Angels later told federal investigators that he had been supplying Skaggs oxycodone for years and he gave up the names of five other Angels players who he believed were using opiates. 

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that Skaggs' death was a “motivating factor” to address the opioid problem the nation is currently facing. “I think they made an agreement that is realistic in terms of how you handle people with opioid problems, and I think it will be an improvement for the industry going forward,” said Manfred.

Beyond Testing

MLB will not just test players for controlled substances and order evaluation and treatment. The league is also going to require all MLB players and staff to take classes on “the dangers of opioid pain medications and practical approaches to marijuana.” The Chief Legal Officer for the MLB said, “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.”

Drug Defense Attorney Steve Karimi

If you are accused of supplying or possessing a controlled substance such as fentanyl or cocaine, you need the assistance of the Law Offices of Steve Karimi to fight the charges. If convicted, you will face serious penalties that will affect the rest of your life. Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form to get started on a free consultation of your case.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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