Why The MLB’s Decision To Remove Marijuana From Its Banned Substances List Matters

Among the marijuana milestones we witnessed in 2019 — Illinois legalizing recreational weed, the House of Representatives passing a bill allowing cannabis bank loans in legalized states, to name just two — one news item that flew a bit under the radar was Major League Baseball removing marijuana from its banned substances list.

Alex Todd, a celebrity jeweler before he launched Saucey Extracts, has ties to ex-New York Yankee CC Sabathia, among other athletes, and we spoke to him about this development, and what he thinks it may mean going forward.

RELATED: Why Athletes Are Using Cannabis for Training and Recovery

What Do You Think Got The MLB Turned Around On This Issue?

The key was [the opioid-related death of] Tyler Skaggs of the Angels. Having the clubhouse facilitating the drugs, that was a big part of Major League Baseball understanding what was going on here, it was a big black eye for them. I don’t think they wanted to legalize THC, but they had to do something, they’re trying to take the focus off of the clubhouse providing those drugs. So I don’t think they believe this is gonna help the problem, but I hope I’m wrong; I really think this could help.

Do You Think Every League Is Operating Independently, Or Will The Dominos Start To Fall Now?

I think they’re definitely gonna start to fall. What I’m hoping for is that the league starts to see drug use — painkillers and recreational use — come way down. Baseball never tested for recreational use, but now that they’re gonna start, I think overall drug use will come way down, because of the testing and because of the alternative ways of medicating.

What Product Are You Launching?

It’s a full CBD line geared toward recovery for the athlete in all of us. Recovery, wellness, and all-around good feeling.

RELATED: Celebrity Jeweler Alex Todd Gets Saucey

Just CBD, Or Will There Be THC In These Formulations?

We’re a full-spectrum company in terms of what we extract and put out. We try to keep the full plant intact — whether you’re smoking it or taking an edible — and that’s partly because we’re in a THC-legal market and can do that. Whatever cannabinoids are in the plant, we want them to go to the user, we think that’s how you get the full benefit.

Dock Ellis Famously Pitched A No-Hitter An Acid: Do You See Any Performance-Enhancing Aspect Of Cannabis?

I would not want to be on the mound with 50,000 fans watching me pitch, so for me, it wouldn’t be performance-enhancing. Of course, everyone’s body chemistry reacts differently, so for someone else, it could calm them down and be a positive.

Just Taking A Guess Here, What Percentage Of Pro Athletes Would You Say Use Cannabis Either Medicinally Or Recreationally?

In baseball, at least 50 percent. In the NBA, at least 70 percent. And in the NFL I’d say 80 percent. Hopefully, there’ll be a lot less hiding of the use, and being able to take what you need for recovery instead of having to go to alcohol or pills. Plants over pills, always.

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Eric Weinberg