It’s 420 Day And How That Code Impacts Pro Sports

Sports leagues are not too worried about players’ pot usage.

April 20th is a significant day to marijuana users. It is “Weed Day”. The origins go back to the 1970s. The medical marijuana bill that was passed in California was known as SB 420. How the numbers 4 and 2 along with 0 became a code for marijuana as in 420 friendly is shrouded in deep mystery. But how sports leagues and players’ unions handle their marijuana policies in the future is a question because pot usage slowly is being decriminalized. In its new collective bargaining agreement, the National Basketball Association will stop testing players for cannabis use and remove marijuana from its list of banned substances. Major League Baseball loosened players’ pot rules but players cannot show up to work high and could end up in a drug treatment program. In 2022, Charlotte’s Web Holdings was named the “Official CBD of MLB” so Major League Baseball is making money from pot. The National Hockey League seemingly is fine with marijuana. The National Football League no longer suspends players for testing positive for pot. Major League Soccer seems to look at pot possession in a case-by-case basis. In September 2022, the World Anti-Doping Agency announced that cannabis would remain on the list of banned substances. The WNBA’s Britney Griner ended up in a Russian prison for possessing medicinal cannabis. Pot is illegal in Russia.The NCAA loosened marijuana rules for ”student-athletes”.

American and Canadian culture has  changed. On June 20th, 2018, Canada became the second country to legalize marijuana for recreational use. On October 17th, 2018 the legislation became law with Canada treating marijuana like alcohol in terms of limiting home production, distribution, consumption areas and sale times. Legalizing marijuana in a state by state or countrywide basis has forced the hand of sports leagues who will have to justify suspending players taking pot.

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Paolo Banchero, right, is congratulated by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number one pick overall by the Orlando Magic in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)