MLB drops marijuana from ‘Drugs of Abuse’ list, will begin testing for opioids, cocaine

Tyler Skaggs

FILE – In this June 29, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws to the Oakland Athletics during a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif. Talks to add testing for opioids began following the death of Skaggs, who was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1 before the start of a series against the Texas. Major League Baseball will start testing for opioids and cocaine, but only players who do not cooperate with their treatment plans will be subject to discipline, as part of changes announced Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, to the joint drug agreement between MLB and the players’ association. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SAN DIEGO, CA. (WLNS) – Major League Baseball will start testing for opioids and cocaine.

The new rule follows the overdose death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

For the first time the league will add routine screenings for so-called Drugs of Abuse. Players who test positive will be referred to the treatment board established under the agreement. Previously the league only tested for performance-enhancing substances, such as steroids.

The new rules also outline that marijuana will be treated the same as alcohol. States that have legalized marijuana was used as a factor in the rule change. Additionally, suspensions for marijuana use will be dropped from the minor league drug program. The MLB will still test for synthetic THC.

Players and team staff will have to attend mandatory educational programs in 2020 and 2021 on the dangers of opioid pain medications and practical approaches to marijuana.

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