MLB, MLBPA Want To Add Opioid Testing, Ease Marijuana Restrictions
MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem said the league would "absolutely" like to add opioid testing for next season after Angels P Tyler Skaggs' autopsy report showed he had oxycodone and fentanyl in his system when he was found dead on July 1, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. MLBPA Exec Dir Tony Clark said that the union "plans to work with the league to assess 'all of our drug protocols relating to education, treatment and prevention.'" Sources said that the two parties have also "discussed whether to loosen baseball's restrictions on marijuana -- not specifically as a trade-off for opioid testing, but as part of the annual review of the sport's drug policy." The talks "could determine whether major and minor leaguers would be allowed to use marijuana at all times, to recover from particular injuries, or for general pain management." Owner and player reps are "expected to solicit input from the medical community on the effects and effectiveness of marijuana -- and of CBD." Under the current policy, opioids and marijuana are "classified as 'drugs of abuse' and banned from the sport." However, MLB players are "not routinely tested for drugs of abuse, only for performance-enhancing drugs." Thirteen MiLB players were "suspended for marijuana this season," with "multiple positive tests necessary for a suspension." Halem said that MLB "does not believe it has an opioid problem" (L.A. TIMES, 10/3).