Just under one quarter of the National Hockey League's teams hail from Canada, where recreational cannabis will be legal as of October 17 of this year. So what does the world's top hockey league plan to do when Canada repeals cannabis prohibition? Nothing, according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
And that shouldn't surprise anyone given the NHL's current drug policies. Players are routinely tested for performance enhancing drugs, but only around a third of them are screened for illicit substances. And since marijuana isn't listed as a banned substance by the league, any players who test positive for cannabis consumption aren't reprimanded in any meaningful way.
Players who are found to be using excessive or dangerous amounts of various substances can be referred to the NHL's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program. That can land them in a treatment program for substance abuse, but they won't face punishments like we've seen in the NFL.
So the NHL doesn't need to change their cannabis policy since they already have the most progressive stance on drug use compared to the other professional sports leagues in North America. Hopefully the other Big Four leagues follow suit as the legalization movement continues to gain momentum across America.
H/T: The Fresh Toast