MLB to Stop Testing Minor Leaguers for Marijuana at Spring Training 2020

Major League Baseball is updating its drug testing policies with regards to marijuana.
Major League Baseball is updating its drug testing policies with regards to marijuana. | Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Major League Baseball has plenty of problems when it comes to the minor leagues. From talk of contraction to painfully low salaries, the MLB simply must find a way to modernize improve its labor situation without blowing dozens of farm teams off the map.

Good news hasn't come on that front yet at the league's Winter Meetings. However, positive developments are coming regarding how the league tests players for marijuana -- starting at Spring Training 2020, minor leaguers will not be screened for cannabinoids.

Testing for marijuana has become tricky given its decriminalization and legality in several states across the country, as well as in Canada.

Instead of focusing on marijuana, the league is now focusing its attention on far more serious instances of drug abuse, including opioids.

Opioids testing is particularly relevant after the tragic death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs this past season. This was likely an easy choice for the union to agree to in order to protect players and clean up the kind of drug abuse that takes place in the shadows.

No longer testing minor leaguers for marijuana and instead treating it the way the MLB treats alcohol allows those with medical and therapeutic needs to reap those benefits without fear of suspension, to say nothing of sanctioned recreational use in places in which it's legal.