How Will Sports Deal With Increasing Legalization Of Marijuana?

As more states say yes to pot, leagues will have to adjust.


April 20th, for some reason, is a significant day to marijuana users. It is “Weed Day”. Apparently, 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 slowing is being decriminalized. The NFL suspends players for testing positive for pot despite the fact that players perform in four states that have legalized pot, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Washington. Smoking pot is also legal in Nevada which will get Mark Davis’ Raiders in 2020  Major League Baseball fines players and players could end up in a drug treatment program. The same holds true for NBA players. The NHL seemingly is fine with marijuana. Major League Soccer seems to look at pot possession on a case to case basis. The UFC is in line with the government supported World Anti-Doping Agency and will suspend an athlete for a year if caught smoking pot.

The American and Canadian cultures are changing. A number of states, some of them with professional teams, are considering legalization of marijuana in the very near future.  In 2017, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed a bill that legalized the recreational use of marijuana in country. The passage of the legalization of marijuana could happen in June. It appears the Trudeau proposal would put pot on the same playing field as alcohol. Legalizing marijuana in a state by state or countrywide basis as in Canada will force the hand of sports leagues who will have to justify suspending players for pot use if they live or work in states or countries where marijuana is legal.


MLB says don’t use marijuana.