NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and the MLB Player's Association agreed to progressive changes in the league's drug policies for the upcoming 2020 season.
The most significant changes are the removal of natural marijuana, THC and CBD products from the leagues banned substances. Instead, they will be treated the same as they would "alcohol-related conduct" under the league's previous rules.
In addition, MLB announced that players who test positive for Opioids, Fentanyl, Cocaine, and Synthetic THC will now be referred to the "Joint Treatment Board" which is composed of "medical professionals specializing in substance abuse and representatives from the Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association," according to the statement released on MLB.com.
Under these new rules, players would only be disciplined by the league if they fail to cooperate with the Joint Treatment Board's intial exam or their prescribed treatment plan.
These changes follow the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in a hotel room from a drug overdose of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol.
"The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball," MLB Deputy Commissioner & Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said in a statement. "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."