Big League Stew

MLB won’t be altering its marijuana rules after Colorado and Washington pot news

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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(AP file photo)

The news that Colorado and Washington state had legalized recreational marijuana use on Tuesday night caused roughly 23,762 people to make the same joke about Tim Lincecum demanding a trade to either the Colorado Rockies or Seattle Mariners.

Those same 23,762 people then moved on to make the same joke about Peyton Manning recently buying 21 Papa John's franchises in the Denver area before finally finishing with something about Nate Silver dropping the mic. It's a creative and unique world, that Twitter.

But I digress.  To be, uh, blunt, the real baseball-related takeaway from the haze of news out west is that the decriminalization of marijuana will have no impact on Major League Baseball's current drug policy. That's the word from our own Jeff Passan who talked to a league official who said that marijuana will remain under the list of prohibited "drugs of abuse" in the current policy. Having pot show up in a drug test will still mean a 50-game suspension on first offense.

Though Tim Lincecum's 2009 arrest for marijuana possession in Washington made a lot of headlines, it was a civil matter and MLB did not have grounds to issue a suspension. That's not to say we haven't seen players get benched after testing positive. Tampa Bay Rays prospect Tim Beckham, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft, was suspended for 50 games earlier this season.

By the way, baseball wasn't alone in reaffirming its drug policy on Wednesday morning. The NFL made a similar statement, no doubt aimed toward those linemen who might be looking toward boosting their quarterback's pizza-related business interests.

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