Nevada to Consider Lifting Ban on Marijuana

January 10, 2017

Nevada voters approved of marijuana in 2016, and now the Nevada Athletic Commission is considering excluding it from its list of prohibited substances.

Nick Diaz 2 UFC 53-750x450Many combat sports athletes over the years have faced sanctioning by the NAC due to a drug test failure due to testing positive to marijuana and its metabolites, which is to say prohibited substances that include cannabinoids. Nick Diaz is one of the most high profile UFC athletes to be sanctioned by the commission.

If Nevada’s recent approval of recreational marijuana has any influence on the commission, Diaz may not have to worry whether or not his admitted use of cannabinoids might sway his decision to fight in the state.

Nevada voters in November voted 54.47 percent to 45.53 percent in favor of Question 2, which legalized the recreational use of one ounce or less of marijuana by individuals 21 and over.

With the passage, the NAC has added a discussion item to its agenda for its Jan. 13 meeting to consider “the possible exclusion of cannabinoids from the list of Prohibited Substances and Methods pursuant to the passage of Nevada Ballot Initiative Question 2.” That doesn’t necessarily mean that the commission will exclude cannabinoids from the list, just that it is up for discussion and possible action at Friday’s meeting.

RELATED > Referee John McCarthy Explains Significant MMA Rules Changes

In addition to considering the exclusion of cannabinoids, the commission is also slated to consider the incorporation of recent changes to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts as suggested by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combat Sports. Such changes include what constitutes a grounded fighter, fingers extended toward an opponents eyes being considered a foul, and a revamp of the scoring criteria.

The changes to the Unified Rules are not a national mandate. They are considered by each jurisdiction independently.

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  • Triggerman99

    Oh boy, get ready for all of the geniuses on both sides of this issue to show up and start throwing out completely baseless opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of Marijuana use in MMA.

    • TheCerealKiller

      Fighter safety first. They would have to figure out a way to test if you are high at the time of a fight. We can’t have guys fighting while they are high. They’ll never make it allowed during competition.

      • MikeMcK

        You may know the answer to this, Doesn’t USADA test for weed? I thought their thresholds were tighter as well?

        If they do, all this ruling would mean is that fighters wouldn’t receive additional punishment from the NSAC on top of USADA.

        • BigE

          sounds like we need another regulating agency to regulate the agencies.

      • Triggerman99

        Yeah I’d think that goes without saying. It’s currently OK to take large amounts of painkillers and consume alcohol among other things in your off time, but not during competition. I’m sure the same would apply.
        I don’t think even the most uninformed person would try and argue against that.

      • deepgrim

        maybe the oral swab tests could be used, think they only detect recent use

      • BigE

        They don’t test for alcohol before a fight do they?

        • TheCerealKiller

          It’s part of the post fight test.

          • BigE

            wasn’t aware of that – thnx…

    • MikeMcK

      Had this article been posted while there was either big Conor or Rhonda news, this article would already have 100 plus comments. 😉

  • MikeMcK

    @KenPishna, I asked this question to a user above, but I’ll also ask you as you’re likely more knowledgeable.

    Doesn’t USADA test for Marijuana? If so, wouldn’t that mean that fighters would only be relieved of additional penalties that the NSAC could impose?

    Either way, I understand why this is newsworthy. Other sanctioning bodies often go as Nevada does.

    • TheCerealKiller

      With NY now in play, NSAC is not the top dog.

      • MikeMcK

        I’m not sure I agree with that. Vegas is going to host the greatest number of fights. It won’t even be close. It’s the fight capital of the world for a reason. It’s easier to sell tickets.

  • BigE

    there is no reason it should be banned. The will however probably say it is a performance enhancer or something just to keep the control over people and their private lives.