NFL and MLB Uphold Pot Bans

By McCarton Ackerman 11/08/12

Marijuana will remain off limits for pro athletes, even in states where it's been legalized.

Still no bong hits for pro athletes. Photo via

Marijuana may be legal in Colorado and Washington now, but it will remain very much forbidden for pro baseball and football players. While the feds may well refrain from arresting pot smokers in the two states, a league official at MLB has made it clear that marijuana, unlike alcohol, will remain under the list of prohibited "drugs of abuse" in its current policy. Under this policy, testing positive for any of these drugs results in a 50-game suspension on the first offense. Several MLB players have been benched for a positive pot result in recent years including Tampa Bay Rays prospect Tim Beckham, who received the 50-game suspension last May. Tim Lincecum was also benched in 2009 after being arrested in Washington for marijuana, although the MLB technically didn't have the grounds to authorize the suspension because it was a civil matter and Lincecum had never tested positive for any illicit drugs. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello also reaffirmed pro football's stance on pot yesterday morning by stating that: "The NFL's policy is collectively bargained and will continue to apply in the same manner it has for decades. Marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.