Dec 12, 2019

MLB to remove marijuana from list of abuse drugs, test for opioids, cocaine

Photo: Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Major League Baseball announced on Thursday plans to remove marijuana from its list of drugs of abuse, instead treating it the same as alcohol, ESPN reports.

But, but, but: The league will begin testing for opioids and cocaine, but only players who refuse to cooperate with treatment plans will be subject to disciplinary action. Testing was previously limited to performance enhancing drugs and prohibited stimulants.

Between the lines: Considerations for opioid testing began after Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died following the consumption of a mix of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone, per ESPN.

  • Easing marijuana rules also had some notable motives: "Moves by some states to legalize marijuana use factored into the change," ESPN notes.

Go deeper: MLB's plan to overhaul its minor league system

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Podcast: Bernie's baseball battle

Major League Baseball recently announced plans to sever its relationships to 42 minor league teams, sparking bipartisan protest from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Dan digs in with Axios Sports Editor Kendall Baker.

Go deeper: MLB's plan to overhaul its minor league system

Keep ReadingArrowDec 12, 2019

Illinois governor pardons 11,000 pot convictions ahead of Jan. 1 legalization

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Dec. 3, 2018. Photo: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker granted more than 11,000 pardons on Tuesday for minor, non-violent marijuana offenses, as the state prepares to legalize the drug on Jan. 1, AP reports.

The big picture: Illinois on Wednesday will become the 11th state to allow people 21 or older to buy and consume marijuana. State officials estimate that 116,000 people who were convicted for possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana are eligible for pardons.

Go deeperArrowDec 31, 2019

Teen drug use in 5 stats

Drug use among teenagers is dropping, according to new federal statistics published in JAMA on Wednesday. Fewer teens are abusing prescription drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.

Between the lines: Marijuana use is steady overall, but has shifted from smoking to vaping — and vaping THC products can be dangerous.

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019