John Singleton, the promising Ryan Howard-esque Astros first baseman, says he’s addicted to marijuana. Singleton was traded to the ‘Stros in the 2011 Hunter Pence deal, and has already faced suspension for smoking weed.
At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict,” he told The Associated Press over breakfast on a recent day near the Astros’ camp. “I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself.” “I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that,” he said. “So I have to work against that.”
A few things are notable here. One, that he’s coming forward at all, courageously so. Two, that he claims an addiction to weed, which is rare. Three, perhaps most significantly, there’s the troubling subtext about the MLB’s drug testing policy, which has effectively turned Singleton from pot to liquor. In an effort to stay ‘clean’ he began drinking himself silly every night. Deadspin comments:
It also appears that alcohol would have never been an issue for Singleton if MLB’s draconian restrictions against a drug that’s becoming increasingly legal in states across the country hadn’t driven him to an anxiety-ridden stay in rehab. But hey, you can’t test positive for booze!
The AP story notes, for instance, that Singleton’s performance didn’t decline when he used weed but did when he drank, which left him hung over “every morning.” In any event, he’s vowing to stay clean and the Astros say they’re supportive. Which seems like a super-promising plan of attack, considering “he isn’t receiving any treatment for his addiction, isn’t currently in a program and doesn’t have someone traveling with him to keep him on track.” [AP]