Despite Growing Acceptance, Dana White Believes Marijuana Will Always Be a Banned Substance

March 10, 2015
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Despite marijuana’s growing acceptance in the medical field and being legalized in some states for recreational use, UFC president Dana White believes its use will always be banned in combat sports.

“This is a real tough question because at the end of the day people look at marijuana differently,” said White during a recent press conference when asked if he thought athletic commissions would eventually removed it from the banned substance list.

Nick Diaz 2 UFC 53-750x370“Even if it becomes legal and you can hang around your house and you can do it, or do it out in public, when you’re competing in a sport… the reason that there’s medical marijuana is for people who are cancer patients, for pain and things like that. I think it’s still going to be looked at as a type of pain killer or something, and pain killers are banned substances,” he added.

> SEE ALSO: Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz Fail UFC 183 Drug Tests

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use and three states have decriminalized the plant for recreational purposes. While White believes it will always be banned, he thinks that the amount that can be in an athlete’s system may be increased.

“I don’t think there’s ever going to be a day where marijuana is okay for athletes, but the amount of nanograms that can be in their system might go up a little bit. They might allow more nanograms,” said White.

In May 2013, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) raised the in-competition threshold for marijuana tenfold, from 15 to 150 nanograms per milliliter. In September of the same year, the Nevada Athletic Commission raised the accepted level of marijuana metabolites by three times, from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL.

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  • TheCerealKiller

    It will never be allowed in your system on the day of a fight, just like any other pain killer.

    • robc

      True but the key here is the metabolites which stay in your system for a longer period of time. If there was a higher threshold there, Diaz would not have been dinged in two of his 3 instances.
      Metabolites at low levels provide no pain killing benefits.

      • Seth

        Why people are bringing Diaz every time we talk about it? By far, that’s the only idiot stupid enough to get caught time after time with the same thing. If he is unable to understand that he shouldn’t smoke week or two before his fight, but he can smoke himself to death as soon as fight ends – then why changing rules for one addict? How many people is being caught with weed during drug test? 1 or 2 per year?

        If Diaz can’t fight without being high, then he shouldn’t be fighting. He has nothing to offer in today’s MMA anyway.

    • curious

      Im dead serious asking this, it may sound super ignorant so I apologize, but is it illegal to have alcohol in your system the day of the fight? Like when they do the blood panel is ETHO part of it?

  • Guest


  • Truth

    Its not a “pain killer” per se, though to an unhealthy human it can seem that way. Cannabinoids from cannabis are utilized by the bodies own natural endocannabinoid system. The human body was built for the plant. You are not seeing a “pain killer” or a “performance enhancer.” You are seeing the nutritional effects of a fully optimized human body. Why not just ban protein? I would say 2g of protein per body lb is performance enhancing. And so is creatine. Why not ban multi vitamins. These are are natural nutrient sources…much like cannabis which has only been in prohibition since 1937. Used for thousands of years before that by much healthier human populations. Truth is, mma fighters are unhealthy and nutritionally deficient, its why their bodies fall apart so often. Banning THC, HGH, and career prolonging natural herbs is simply hijacking human potential. All of it is technology. F*ck being an Ultimate Fighter. They are some of the most injured/unhealthy people on earth.

  • dgs

    This is an excellent post, and right on the money. I’ve been smoking for years (only pot however, no cigarettes, alcohol, or any other drug/stimulant), and at the ripe old age of 47, am in better shape than most of the kids half my age who train at my gym. My yearly physical routinely passes with flying colors, as my cholesterol is one of the lowest my doctor has ever seen (I eat lots and lots of organic olive oil and garlic), and my blood pressure is also very low. I have low body fat percentage, and I’m stronger then I’ve ever been.

    I’m hopeful in my lifetime, Dana “F&cking” White and all the rest who think MJ won’t someday be fully legalized are wrong. How DARE, the government tell me what I can and can’t do with a PLANT that grows from the earth naturally, and requires no special processing to consume. And honestly, since this country is broke and only going broker (what is the national debt at now, 19 trillion!?), I suspect MJ will be taxed and sold just like alcohol to help recoup lost revenue. It’s only a matter of time before every state with their economy in the toilet bowl (and almost all of them are) looks to Colorado, and says, “I want some of those millions of dollars in MJ sales for our state!” When it comes to more money in a politician’s pocket, there is no end to what they will and will not do.

    • Seth

      Im sure you are in good shape because you smoke weed…

    • earlsimmonz

      You belong to average joes gym or you help out at a fat camp? Because if your 47 and in better shape than half the guys in their early 20’s then that is a sad gym sooooo i wouldnt be bragging about that.

  • curious

    Thank you!

    • TheCerealKiller

      No problem.

  • TheCerealKiller

    That’s just a pot head comment.

  • Seth

    Im not a user of fan of that stuff, but if there are people that want to use that kind of thing, then let them use it. Who cares? Why is it such a big topic? Because one guy can’t pass a drug test without being caught with it? Nick Diaz is done anyway, so why changing the rules because one idiot couldn’t pass a drug test which wasn’t even random? Besides of him we have what? 1 or 2 cases per year when someone is caught with weed during drug testing?

    If they want to use it, let them use it. Im sure you WADA or organization like them can run some sort of tests to check if weed really helps during a fight or not and then ACs can decide if thats enough to ban it or if they can use it.

    • MikeMcK

      problem is that despite people’s ignorance on the topic the “banned substance list” that all these different sports have is not a “performance enhancing drugs” list.
      Truthfully in the eyes of a commission a drug that could do harm to a person should be treated as a drug that could help a person.
      There’s also the fact that these commissions are not going to test anything. The best you’ll get is a hearing if someone wants combat their policies.

      • Seth

        How do you know it’s not PED? It works in different way on different people, so maybe there are people for whom that stuff work as PED? We don’t know that for sure.

  • Joe Dog

    Correction: Recreational use legalized in four states, not three. (CO, WA, OR, AK). Prior to recent legalization, Oregon decriminalized pot in the 70s allowing up to an ounce possession treated as a misdemeanor. Warning to all; ditch your weed when crossing state lines into red states, Idaho in particular. You can spend jail time for a joint there. UFC?

  • ufcSuxArse

    Yet is ok to do coke? Man jon jones got off easy. This crappy sport is the worst.

    • TheCerealKiller

      It’s Okay to do both in non-competition. Why do you mental midgets have such a problem understanding this?