How Sports Leagues Are Dealing with Legalization of Marijuana in 2023

Gone are the days when sports players had to visit psychiatrists if tested positive for smoking pot. With time, marijuana has started becoming legal in most parts of the world. People are at all-time support for legalizing cannabis, and the government has started looking to the brighter side of marijuana.

Nowadays, people are stepping their foot forward in countries where it is still considered illegal. Medical marijuana has helped a lot of players in treating pain. Also, it helps them in practicing for long hours without feeling tired. The importance of cannabis legalization cannot be taken for granted.

In earlier times, most of the players lost their careers due to the strict policies regarding marijuana. Ever since players have taken a stand for themselves, and the sports leagues have had to deal with the legalization of marijuana for various purposes.

As said above, times have changed, and out of the total teams playing across sports leagues, 101 are playing across states where marijuana is permissible for consumption. It implies that the players can easily purchase it from legal dispensaries without any restriction.

Marijuana is still illegal in Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and many other states. Today, we will take a look at how sports leagues are dealing with marijuana legalization.

How NFL Dealt with Legalization of Cannabis?


The National football league or NFL made necessary changes in their drug policy in mind the requirement of athletes. The massive change in their policy says that the players are free to smoke pot during the offseason.

Earlier, when a player failed the testing (at 35 nanograms now changed to 150), he was immediately sent for medical help. The case is discussed with several experts in the field to see whether a player requires medical help.

The NFL policy remained strict until 2023. When both the parties came to a mutual decision, not all the players supported the loosening of policy. The NFL remained static with its decision to test players since marijuana might not be as addictive as other drugs but was still considered abusive.

But over the period, the NFL has put forth massive changes that proved to be beneficial for the players in general. All the players that suffered a massive setback in their career because of the strict policy felt happy for the new players who would not go through the same.

MLB’s Changes in Drug Policy


Unlike the NFL, the earlier drug policy of MLB was quite different. It tested the big players only when there was a reasonable cause. In recent changes, it removed cannabis from the list of abusive drugs. The significant problem before the modification was faced by minor players.

They were tested and suspended regularly from games. For being tested positive once, a minor player straightway faced a suspension of 50 games, which was a lot to deal with them.

NBA Remained Consistent with The Policy


National Basketball Association policy remains to be the one that sees the least change over the years. For being tested positive once, the player has to go through a marijuana program. Being tested for the second time leads to a fine of $25000, and the third time leads to a 5-game suspension.

The number eventually increases by five each time, thereby meaning it can be a lot to handle in your career. Athletes generally experience relief during the offseason. Apart from that, the coronavirus pandemic also saved players from going through testing. Since it was refrained by the board.

When talked about the strict policy, commissioner Adam Silver discussed how smoking pot was affecting some of the players in a bad manner. He said that though marijuana does help in relieving pain. Some players started finding it as an escape, which caused them more anxiety and distress.

Now more than ever, athletes are coming forward to advocate for the change in policies. They put forth all the medicinal benefits it provides and how it can help them in their training sessions. After a rough training session, they need something that relaxes them and puts them to sleep.

Though, the players are not happy with the policy since marijuana has shown to be helpful for the human body. It is useful for athletes since it is known to relieve inflammation. They still believe necessary changes will eventually take place in the NBA as well.

National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA Policy


College athletic policy has seen a massive change since 2014. What can be worse than losing an entire season for testing positive? It has significantly reduced to 50% of the season.

Along with that, we also noticed the threshold increasing to 35 nanograms in 2019. Click here if you are an athlete and looking forward to purchasing marijuana from a 100% perfect source.

The Final Verdict

From the above discussion, we can conclude that a player no longer suffers from strict rules and regulations since he is given a chance to speak for himself. Based on the discussion, the next step is taken.

No matter how much fine a player goes through, but he is not restricted from entering the field in most cases. It ensures his career does not suffer because of marijuana consumption.

Is it fair for an athlete to not consume a drug legalized in most parts of the world? Why should his career suffer for legal drug use? Most of the researchers have concluded how its consumption is extremely beneficial for athletes during and after the training. Since it acts as a pain reliever, it is beneficial in all aspects.

Overall, several required actions have been taken as compared to a few years back when the rules and regulations led to drastic consequences. Seeing the current scenario, we can conclude that the laws will alter in the coming years. All the needs of athletes will fulfill. According to them, they can check how they perform to their level best in the game.