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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization at an all-time high, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues are reducing restrictions and punishments — though the NBA lags behind the other three.

By the numbers: Recreational marijuana use is legal in 11 states, plus the District of Columbia, and medical marijuana is permitted in 33. 101 0f the 123 teams (82.1%) across the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL play in those states.

The holdouts: Only 22 teams are located in states where neither type of usage is legal, and over a third of them (8) are in Texas.

  • 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

League policies:

  • NHL: While the NHL tests for cannabis, there is no punishment for positives. If a player has "abnormally high levels" of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, it's treated as a matter of health care (as alcoholism would be).
  • MLB: In December, 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).

Go deeper: Illinois rakes in $3.2 million on first day of legal marijuana sales

Go deeper

2021 economy boomed at fastest rate in 37 years

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

The U.S. economy surged ahead with a 6.9% annual growth rate in the final months of 2021 and achieved the strongest growth over an entire calendar year since 1984.

Driving the news: New GDP numbers from the Commerce Department show a remarkable acceleration in economic activity, much faster than the 5.3% growth rate analysts expected.

The Fed isn't the only problem investors are worried about

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Federal Reserve will be raising rates, just as the economy is slowing. The markets hate that.

Why it matters: The ugly start to the stock trading year doesn't just reflect Fed-induced agita — investors are also worried about a growth slowdown.

3 hours ago - Health

White House says Obamacare sign-ups hit record

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaking in the White House in December 2021. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The White House said Thursday that a record 14.5 million Americans have signed up for health insurance through Obamacare marketplaces since Nov. 1, including more than 10 million enrollments through HealthCare.gov.

Why it matters: Last year's stimulus bill contained substantial investments in the program, including increased subsidies for people who don't receive health insurance from an employer or through Medicare or Medicaid.