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3 Athletes Stopped on Pot Charges: Will They Still Play?

By Brett Snider, Esq. on July 14, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Three high-profile athletes were stopped on pot charges within the past week, with some facing serious potential consequences.

Texas Rangers' Geovany Soto was pinched on Wednesday for misdemeanor marijuana possession, although the player has been out this season with a knee injury. Meantime, college athletes in Alabama and Georgia were also arrested on marijuana charges which may block them from playing.

What do these allegedly pot-possessing athletes have to expect after their pot stops?

Texas Rangers Catcher Caught With Pot

Soto, 31, a catcher for the Texas Rangers, was arrested for the alleged possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor in Texas.

This means that, if convicted, Soto may be facing up to six months in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. According to The Associated Press, Soto released a statement Friday apologizing for the incident and affirming that both the Rangers and MLB have been notified.

Although Soto is currently benched from a knee injury, NBC Sports reports that he was planning on starting again with the Rangers on July 18. The Rangers and MLB may have other plans after this arrest, but Soto will likely be entitled to appeal any discipline either organization metes out.

Auburn QB Stopped Holding Weed

Auburn University football quarterback Nick Marshall was cited in Georgia on Friday following a traffic stop. Macon's WMAZ-TV reports that while Marshall was not arrested, he did receive citations for a window-tint violation and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

The possession charge was a violation of a city ordinance in Reynolds, Georgia, and Marshall will have to pay $1,000 to deal with this pot citation. Columbus' WRBL-TV reports that Auburn has a policy which allows a player to continue playing with only one violation of the school's drug policy.

The school is aware of Marshall's pot-stop incident. Auburn's head coach stated he's "very disappointed."

UGA Athlete Faces Felony

On the more serious side, University of Georgia basketball player Brandon Morris was arrested Sunday for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Not only is this charge a felony, but it can lead to up to 10 years in prison if he's convicted.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Morris' arrest report has not yet been released, so it's not clear why he faces an intent to distribute charge. Generally speaking, there are several factors that prosecutors can cite in making a case for intent to distribute drugs.

In the short term, the AJC reports that UGA guidelines call for immediate suspension after a felony arrest.

Take a note from these players: If you want to stay on the court or field, lay off the green.

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