Canada is about to start legal recreational marijuana sales for adults this week but that doesn’t mean the NHL will change its policy.
“The Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health Program for decades has been educating players on using drugs, legal or illegal,” said commissioner Gary Bettman via The Associated Press.
“That process will continue and we will consider what changes, if any, in our program have to be made. But right now, we think based on the educational level and what we do test for and how we test, at least for the time being, we’re comfortable with where we are.”
The NHL already has a pretty lenient position when it comes to marijuana use as it takes a big amount to be found in a player’s system for them to be referred to rehab.
Trace positives found in players does not lead to the same kind of discipline that other leagues implement.
Players with positives are used for data given to the NHL and NHLPA’s Performance Enhancing Substances Program Committee to re-evaluate testing going forward.
“What we feel was an important element is at least educating the players better on the current marijuana landscape both from a legal and illegal perspective and what’s permitted and not permitted,” Bettman’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly said to The AP.
“But also: ‘What are the products out there?’ Because there’s probably publicly a great misconception of what marijuana is, how it’s used, what it’s used for to what the reality is.”