It is pretty well-known that athletes use marijuana to treat pain. The four major U.S. sports leagues are reducing restrictions and punishments — though the NBA is still using punitive actions against players that partake in tasty blunts.
Recreational marijuana use is legal in 11 states, plus the District of Columbia, and medical marijuana is permitted in 33. 101 of the 123 teams (82.1%) across the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL play in those states.
Only 22 teams are located in states where neither type of usage is legal, and over a third of them (8) are in Texas. These teams are still tight on weed use:
Texas: Astros, Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, Rockets, Stars, Spurs, Texans
North Carolina: Hornets, Hurricanes, Panthers
Tennessee: Grizzlies, Predators, Titans
Georgia: Braves, Falcons, Hawks
Indiana: Colts, Pacers
Wisconsin: Brewers, Bucks, Packers
Here are the current League policies:
NHL: NHL tests for cannabis, there is no punishment for positives. If a player has “abnormally high levels” of THC, it’s treated as a matter of health care (as alcoholism would be).
MLB: MLB removed marijuana from its list of banned substances and now treats it the same as alcohol. Players do, however, remain subject to discipline for using or possessing the drug, and the league sent a memo to teams last week warning them not to show up to the ballpark high.
NFL: The proposed CBA, which players will vote on soon, would dramatically reduce the testing window from nearly four months to two weeks, raise the threshold for positive tests (from 35 nanograms to 150) and eliminate suspensions for positive tests. Overall, the new policy would “increase emphasis on clinical care over punishment.”
NBA: Marijuana remains on the NBA’s list of banned substances, and players are subject to four random tests during the regular season, with punishment escalating from entering a drug program (first positive test) to a $25,000 fine (second) to a five-game suspension (third) to a 10-game suspension (fourth).