MLB, union agree to remove marijuana as 'drug of abuse'

By Sports Desk December 12, 2019

Major League Baseball has removed marijuana from its list of drugs of abuse, but will start testing for opioids and cocaine.

As part of a joint agreement between MLB and the players' association, marijuana is to be treated the same as alcohol.

Suspensions for the use of marijuana are to be dropped from the minor league drug program from 2020, while opioids will be classed as a drug of abuse.

Discussions over adding testing for opioids started following the July death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, whose autopsy showed oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his system.

"The USA opioid epidemic is a concern," MLB deputy chief Dan Halem said on Thursday.

"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.

"It is our collective hope that this agreement will help raise public awareness on the risks and dangers of opioid medications and contribute positively to a national conversation about this important topic."

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