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Minor leaguers have an incentive to “smoke their way onto the 40-man roster”

Jul 1, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT


At least the ones with some promise do.

Jeff Passan has the story about the incentive structure in place for major league teams to take minor league prospects who get busted for marijuana and stash them on the 40-man roster. Why? If they’re on the 40-man they’re not subject to long suspensions for weed like they would be if they stayed on the regular minor league roster. If the player is in the team’s future plans, it’s way preferable to promote them and protect them early than it would be to risk them being idled for 50 or 100 games.

It’s an interesting story with some juicy anonymous quotes. And it’s evidence that, for all of the progress Major League Baseball has made in putting its drug policies in motion, it still has some work to do. I mean, it makes zero sense for pot to be treated so harshly in the minor leagues when it’s not considered that big a deal among major leaguers. And, increasingly, in society at large.

  1. provguard - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Better idea is to take marijuana off the list of enhancing drugs and quit being ignorant. If driving is impaired while under the use, treat it like alcohol.

    It seems to me that marijuana is A LOT safer than some of the pharmaceutical drugs advertised on TV with their long lists of side effects.. AMA is just pissed they can’t make any money from the use of mary jane…

    • brazcubas - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      It’s not listed as an enhancing drug, it’s listed separately as “drugs of abuse” along with cocaine, heroin, and possibly others.

      Of course it’s MLB’s right to try to maintain a drug free workplace, but they should have the same penalties in the minors that they do at the major level.

      • jwbiii - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:45 AM

        From the JDA, Prohibited Drugs of Abuse are:

        1. Natural Cannabinoids (e.g., THC, Hashish and Marijuana)
        2. Synthetic THC and Cannabimimetics (e.g., K2 and Spice)
        3. Cocaine
        4. LSD
        5. Opiates (e.g., Oxycodone, Heroin, Codeine, and Morphine)
        6. MDMA (Ecstasy)
        7. GHB
        8. Phencylidine (PCP), Section 2.A, pg 7.

    • Reflex - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      There is no difference between marijuana and any other drug in terms of side effects. The difference is that other drugs have been extensively studied and rigorously tested so that the side effects are well understood, including their probabilities of occurring while pot has not. Were it put under the same rigorous review as other drugs, you would also see a long list of side effects attached to it.

      Personally I don’t really have a problem with medicinal pot, but it should be treated like any other medicine, prescribed in specific dosages for specific problems that it is demonstrated to assist with and via delivery methods that are effective without causing additional damage. Prescribing smoking it is idiotic, but as an oral tablet containing the active ingredient it would make fine sense.

      After all, we use opiates on a regular basis in modern medicine, but no doctor prescribes an opium pipe.

      The recreational side is a separate issue that I am mixed about. I just firmly believe that when people claim medical impact for anything it should be well understood and defined. The supplement industry has become fabulously successful at convincing people that the value of peer reviewed studies is nil, and that is sad.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        Reflex: first, some of those awesome medicines were indeed extensively tested, on poor people in 3rd World countries, with any bad results buried.
        As for cannabis, no one has ever come up with sound reasoning as to why we should spend tax money on punishing responsible adults for what they choose to ingest, as long as they behave themselves. Why should I care what drugs you like to do in private with consenting adults?
        Our laws should treat cannabis like beer.

      • Reflex - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        You’ll note that I’m discussing the medical uses of marijuana, namely the contention that it is safer than other pharmaceuticals based entirely on lists of side effects. That demonstrates ignorance of how such lists are generated, and the fact that no one has attempted to generate such a list for pot for a variety of reasons.

        Would you willingly ingest a drug that would permanently reduce your IQ? I ask because that is a known side effect of marijuana use among people in their teens who use it regularly based on the latest research. If that was a listed side effect on, say, Ibuprophen, how many people would use the stuff, and how loud would the cry become to ban it from the market?

        Now keep in mind, there are serious caveats to the study and this article points some of them out. However people crusade against fluoride in water on the basis of theoretical harm to IQ levels and that has far flimsier evidence.

        And there are many other deleterious effects as well. Effects on memory, increased probability of lung cancer (for smokers), and a number of other negative impacts.

        But my main point was, as I stated, not about recreational use at all but medical use. Medicine should always be allopathic and based entirely upon evidence, not on someone’s individual claims of efficacy. And in that context there is no evidence that pot magically has fewer or less dangerous side effects than many of the drugs it is used as a substitute for.

      • yahmule - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:05 AM

        Well, the feds have consistently and systematically screwed over research of cannabis for the last 90 years or so.

      • Reflex - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        No doubt they have, however that in no way changes my statement. Also, despite the interference it has been studied elsewhere and even here effectively. It has, like all drugs, some positive and negative effects. And as its use becomes more mainstream those effects will become better understood and more pronounced.

        There are some things we do know however. Smoking it is never good, just as smoking tobacco is never good. In the young it appears to drop IQ permanently. And in older people there is research demonstrating it changes the brain significantly although they are not certain as to what the effect is. That’s enough to keep me away from it, and many of the people who use it in my area seem to be the type who think far more benign things such as GMO’s and fluoride should be kept away from the public. Cognitive dissonance at work…

  2. gdobs227 - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    My girlfriend refers to weed as my Performance Enhancing Drug.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Because it helps you fall asleep and leaves her free to watch Say Yes To The Dress without you complaining?

      • ahrmon - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:36 PM

        Damn man…you just described TV night at my house. Wow.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        Luckily my wife watches it on the treadmill.

        But if I stumble into the gym while she’s on there and comment on the chick’s huge boobs I’m apparently being “a distraction”.

        You know what else is a distraction? A chick in a wedding dress with 14 inches of cleavage.

  3. musketmaniac - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    it’s weed….. HELLO…… WEED. grown everywhere, Mexican Brown, Georgia Gold, Acapulco red, New York super diesel. Northern Lights, Thai stick. Minneapolis moon, Canadian Xmas trees. EVERYWHERE, My great grandmother smokes it, my next door retired judge neighbor cant get enough. I got a crazy aunt who bakes weed chocolate chip cookies and gives it to her Ladies auxiliary and laughs about the old ladies not knowing. It’s Weed people, Nobody wants to drive on it, and very very few people rob liqueur stores on it.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      I don’t want to do anything on it except watch the Lisa on Ice episode of The Simpsons and eat Fruity Pebbles.

      Or watch Phineas and Ferb and eat Lucky Charms.

      Man that’s a great show. And a great cereal.

      There is literally nothing that weed doesn’t make more amazing. Except interacting with authority figures.

      • kcroyal - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        It’s not illegal to be high on pot. You can literally walk up to a cop and tell him you’re stoned, as long as you don’t have any on you. I wouldn’t recommend this, but I’ve seen it happen with hilarious results.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        You ever seen the back of a twenty dollar bill?

        You ever seen the back of a twenty dollar bill?… on weed??

        You ever seen the moon man?

        You ever seen the moon… on weed?

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:44 PM

        You ever look at a dollar bill, man? Thee’s some spooky sh** goin’ on there. And it’s green too. George Washington was in a cult, and the cult was into aliens, man.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:11 PM

        @1943mrmojorisin1971 check ya later *wink and finger gun*

  4. cubbybeers41 - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    It’s no different than the chewing tobacco rules. It’s okay in the Majors, but god forbid someone in the minors does it.

  5. rickrenteria - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    I was wondering why Junior Lake was promoted to the Cubs way too early.

  6. kcroyal - Jul 1, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    I quit smoking pot once. Worst 7 hours of my life. Never again.

    • joenash72 - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      Ya, I only made it 3 hours……

    • yahmule - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      That’s what you get for succumbing to peer pressure even temporarily.

  7. musketmaniac - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    that’s wants everybody to stare at it, but you.

  8. 4d3fect - Jul 1, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    “Stash” them on the 40-man roster?

    I see what you did there.

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