Sports And Weed Day

The times are a changin’.

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 no longer suspends players for testing positive for pot. NFL players perform in states that have legalized pot, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Washington. The Federal District, Washington, DC also has legalized pot. Major League Baseball has loosened players pot rules but players cannot show up to work high and could end up in a drug treatment program. The NBA has stopped marijuana tests. The NHL seemingly is fine with marijuana. Major League Soccer seems to look at pot possession in a case-by-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 dope.

The American and Canadian cultures are changing. A number of states, some of them with professional teams, are still considering legalization of marijuana in the very near future.  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 as in Canada has forced the hand of sports leagues who will have to justify suspending players taking pot.

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