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UnderGround Forums >> Is it time for overhaul of AC marijuana rules?


12/4/12 10:36 AM
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Underground Blog
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Marijuana, once thought to be a gateway to hard drugs and a destructive lifestyle has undergone a major reexamination in US culture, with decriminalization, regulation, and legalization in an increasing nunber of States. The major Athletic Commissions regulating MMA still list it is a prohibited substance, and have recently suspended a number of fighters for it, including Nick Diaz, Dave Herman, Matt Riddle, and Thiago Silva.

While no one argues that a fighter should be able to compete while high, it is hard to justify suspending a fighter for the appearance of marijuana metabolites on a drug screen indicating use in the past weeks.

However, rules are rules, even archaic ones. The proper response is not to break or ignore the rules, but to change them, as argued below by Carlin Bardsley.

Athletic commissions are in need of a serious overhaul on how they approach the issue of marijuana as it is inconsistent with their stance on other medically approved therapies and even logic.

The athletes in question were suspended for having inactive marijuana metabolites in their system. No one is contending that they were fighting while under the influence. An effective analogy would be to a person that goes out on Friday night and imbibes a few alcoholic beverages, but shows up to work on Monday morning clear-headed and ready to be productive. So if the fighters aren’t under the influence when they are competing, what is the rationale for punishing them other than a Mr. Mackie (of South Park fame) type response of “marijuana is bad, mmmkay”?

There is even confusion as to whether the presence of inactive metabolites falls under “in competition” or “out of competition” use standards set by WADA and followed by athletic commissions. Until there is clarification on that, we don’t even know if the athletic commissions are playing by their own set of rules.

That distinction lies at the heart of the Diaz ruling, which Diaz and his camp are still in the process of appealing. Diaz’s lawyer argued that the athletic commission’s should be testing for THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), and called testing for metabolites outdated. The logic of testing for metabolites goes back to when marijuana was deemed illegal in all forms. Because inactive metabolites can stay in the system for thirty days or more, it was easier to test for them and catch offenders rather than testing for the parent drug. Now that medical marijuana is an accepted therapy in Canada and nineteen states in the US, the current testing for inactive metabolites has become outmoded and outdated.

Both Diaz and Riddle have medical clearance in their home states to use marijuana for therapeutic reasons. Certified physicians have deemed it medically appropriate for them to use marijuana. When fighters are prescribed synthetic testosterone (another banned substance), the athletic commissions approve it with a “therapeutic use exemption”. It’s a classic “can’t have it both ways” scenario, the athletic commissions can’t claim to listen to doctors for one form of therapy but dismiss them on another based on personal preference of the substance in question. Medical exemptions are either acceptable or they aren’t.

Not only are the athletic commission’s going against medical science, logic and possibly the athletic commissions’ own rules on the matter, they are also opening a political quandary and going against the will of the people. In addition to medical marijuana becoming accepted in more places every election cycle, the recent US election saw the states of Washington and Colorado legalize it for recreational use. While the athletic commission’s mandate is geared towards the safety of the athletes involved and not the laws of the land, they are looking more and more out of touch as the rest of the continent’s view continues to evolve. The question remains: if a fighter is not intoxicated during his fight, what is the logic behind punishing them if they are abiding their physician’s advice or the laws in that territory?

The athletic commissions’ and UFC’s stance on marijuana seems to be rooted in a Nixon-era “War on Drugs” mentality. Until that view is modernized and it is judged side-by-side with other medically approved therapies, we’re going to be left with conflicting messages, archaic standards and draconian punishments.

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12/4/12 10:37 AM
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Gooner H Smith
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Its time for an overhaul of marijuana rules/laws in every capacity. Archaic standards sums it up nicely.

12/4/12 10:44 AM
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HogWatcher
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Yes Phone Post
12/4/12 11:00 AM
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Ondz
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HogWatcher -  Yes Phone Post

Well you have me convinced. Voted up!

12/4/12 11:15 AM
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zebers3
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The fact that you can get a TUE for TRT but you can't get a TUE for marijuana is absolutely ridiculous. Especially when one is mostly given out to those who simply wish to have more testosterone to get an edge on the competition, while the other has basically no impact on your performance and is used to treat anxiety and other legit medical issues (although partially recreational).

That being said, since the rules are currently as they are, the fans can cry foul all they want but the fighters should know better and abide by the rules for now. If people can cycle their steroids and pass a piss test, I think you can stop smoking weed long enough and do the same.
12/4/12 11:24 AM
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UGCTT_El Pescadero
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Gooner H Smith -

Its time for an overhaul of marijuana rules/laws in every capacity. Archaic standards sums it up nicely.

Agreed. Phone Post
12/4/12 11:28 AM
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kung fu theater
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to the bon Phone Post
12/4/12 11:29 AM
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theshooter
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Marijuana should be completely legal, and including when it comes to sports.
12/4/12 11:40 AM
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6ULDV8
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I'd just like to add that...Uh...Yeah...

 

Anybody hungry?

12/4/12 11:43 AM
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Gooner H Smith
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6ULDV8 - 

I'd just like to add that...Uh...Yeah...

 

Anybody hungry?


hahaha

12/4/12 11:56 AM
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Steve4192
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Gooner H Smith - 

Its time for an overhaul of marijuana rules/laws in every capacity. Archaic standards sums it up nicely.


^ This

 

Athletic commission rules are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.  If you legalize it and remove the stigma of marijuana use, the athletic commission issue will sort itself out.  Until the larger issue is dealt with, there is no incentive for the athletic commissions to change anything.  On the contrary, there are major PR and liability disincentives to changing the way they deal with marijuana testing.

12/4/12 11:58 AM
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Son of Neckbone
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PED's stand for "performance enhancing drugs."

Nothing about marijuana is performance enhancing.

That is where the argument begins and ends.

It is as ridiculous as suspending fighters for having tryptophan (the chemical in turkey that makes you sleepy after Thanksgiving) in their system because it is dangerous to fight drowsy.
12/4/12 12:06 PM
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Chimp Strength
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zebers3 says it reduces anxiety. That's sounds like a performance enhancer to me. I agree that it's bs to ban someone for having used it weeks prior to a fight, but you can't have people fighting high. It works both ways depending on how high you are and what you're smoking. If you were fighting high as fuck, you could be inhibiting your performance. I have no idea whether its possible to test whether someone was high during a fight or had smoked it days/weeks in advance, anyone know? Phone Post
12/4/12 12:18 PM
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zebers3
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Chimp Strength -  zebers3 says it reduces anxiety. That's sounds like a performance enhancer to me. I agree that it's bs to ban someone for having used it weeks prior to a fight, but you can't have people fighting high. It works both ways depending on how high you are and what you're smoking. If you were fighting high as fuck, you could be inhibiting your performance. I have no idea whether its possible to test whether someone was high during a fight or had smoked it days/weeks in advance, anyone know? Phone Post

Oh I agree completely, no fighter should be fighting high, that's going to get you hurt most likely. Although, apparently it helps your jitz haha, but my point was just that you'd have to smoke literally right before your fight for it to have an effect. Even the day before isn't going to have any real effect.

And I'm sure if you were blood tested you could tell how recently you smoked, or perhaps even from a piss test because I'm sure there is a difference from when you first smoke it and it enters your blood stream to when your body breaks it down to the marijuana metabolites like Diaz was suspended for.

Point is just that you can get suspended for smoking a week out, while a fighter can enter the cage with like a 6:1 or 4:1 T:E ratio from TRT and it's all good.
12/4/12 12:24 PM
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Chimp Strength
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^ Agreed, total horse shit. Phone Post
12/4/12 12:32 PM
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LayzieTheSavage
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www.middleeasy.com, Editor/Videographer
"Is it time for overhaul of AC marijuana rules?"

Did Pinocchio have a wooden dick?
12/4/12 12:35 PM
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Joe_Drogan420
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WAR MARIJUANA
12/4/12 12:39 PM
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Steve4192
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Son of Neckbone - PED's stand for "performance enhancing drugs."

Nothing about marijuana is performance enhancing.

That is where the argument begins and ends.

It is as ridiculous as suspending fighters for having tryptophan (the chemical in turkey that makes you sleepy after Thanksgiving) in their system because it is dangerous to fight drowsy.

Marijuana is not banned because it is a performance enhancer.  It's banned because it is an illegal recreational drug.  It's banned for the same reason that cocaine, heroin, and meth are banned.  Marijuana metabolites are going to be banned as long as marijuana is stigmatized as an 'illegal drug'.  The ACs won't even consider making changes in their testing/enforcement policies as long as that stigma exists.

12/4/12 12:46 PM
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UGCTT croy_00
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Forget the athletic commissions. I think it's time society as a whole re-evaluates the whole Marijuana as an illegal substance stance. How does it make sense that I can drink whatever I want, but I can't smoke a plant that can be found growing outside....unless it's tobacco....
12/4/12 12:54 PM
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Zaph
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As long as it's illegal, it'll be a banned substance. As unfortunate as this is, it's a reality. However, fighters who test positive for it should not have their victories overturned since it's not a PED. Phone Post
12/4/12 1:45 PM
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6ULDV8
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I googled St. Pierre and only found it was a surname and stood for St. Peter.

 

I bet St. Peter doesn't have near as many wins and Georges though.

 

A lot of places are named St. Pierre too.

 

I think I'm going to have some pizza.

 

 

12/4/12 2:13 PM
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bhealthy
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hogan needs to provide input here. Preferably in all CAPS!
12/4/12 2:53 PM
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Hong Kong Phooey
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My God this lifetime , yes of course

12/4/12 3:58 PM
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Son of Neckbone
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Steve4192 - 
Son of Neckbone - PED's stand for "performance enhancing drugs."

Nothing about marijuana is performance enhancing.

That is where the argument begins and ends.

It is as ridiculous as suspending fighters for having tryptophan (the chemical in turkey that makes you sleepy after Thanksgiving) in their system because it is dangerous to fight drowsy.

Marijuana is not banned because it is a performance enhancer.  It's banned because it is an illegal recreational drug.  It's banned for the same reason that cocaine, heroin, and meth are banned.  Marijuana metabolites are going to be banned as long as marijuana is stigmatized as an 'illegal drug'.  The ACs won't even consider making changes in their testing/enforcement policies as long as that stigma exists.


True, lots of rational people believe that marijuana is the same as cocaine, meth and heroin. You are either very sheltered and have never seen the difference between them, or semantically lumping them together to skew reality.

You do know that there are 2 states where marijuana is absolutely legal for recreational use, right?

In 20 others it is considered medicinal and prescribed by physicians for a variety of ailments.

Still others, such as North Carolina, have decriminalized possession to the point where it is an infraction, ie the same sort of illegal behavior that gets lumped in with spitting tobacco on the sidewalk, not picking up your dogshit, jaywalking, parking tickets and other heinous crimes.

Do the math and that is nearly half the US that decriminalized marijuana.

Also, a blood test will show whether a person is actually high at the time, whereas a piss/hair test will show whether there are metabolites in the system from weeks to months ago.
12/4/12 4:11 PM
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UGCTT_ Lay'n'PrayNINJA
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Is this even a question?

 

Of course it is. 

 

Ridiculous that a fighter can be snorting coke 2 days before the fight and not have it show up, but smoke a joint three weeks out and you're in TROUBLE!!!!


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