Major League Baseball is a game not only about athleticism and spirit, but very much in tune with its tradition as well.
This is the national pastime, after all, and nothing screams “America” like a hot dog and an afternoon spent watching nine innings of baseball. It’s a rite of passage for some, a religious experience for others. In any case, the game is a treasure and only the most salient of changes must be brought to the diamond.
The MLB understands this, and is carefully making changes to its drug policy due to the reverence that Americans feel for the sport’s history.
Some of these adjustments seems to make a lot of sense.
Marijuana will be removed from the list of drugs of abuse and will be treated the same as alcohol as part of changes announced Thursday to the joint drug agreement between MLB and the players’ association. In addition, suspensions for marijuana use will be dropped from the minor league drug program.
Others, however, portray a negligence on the part of commissioners past.
Under the changes, MLB will test for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine, and synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Players who test positive will be referred to the treatment board established under the agreement.
“It is our collective hope that this agreement will help raise public awareness on the risks and dangers of opioid medications,” deputy baseball commissioner Dan Halem said.
While baseball’s fans may have cringed at the idea of bringing instant replay into the game, or protested at the unwillingness of the MLB to more aggressively work to curb doping, fans of all (pin)stripes can agree that this new drug policy is a home run.