Recently, Nick Diaz was suspended five years by the Nevada State Athletic Commission as a multiple-time offender for testing positive for marijuana following his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 183.
The issue of marijuana testing in the sport of UFC has always been controversial, and this time, friend of Diaz and fellow recognized fighter Ronda Rousey decided to speak her mind. She didn't take the news of her peer's suspension lightly and slammed the NSAC and the drug testing system for fighters, specifically for marijuana.
Rousey said, “I’m against testing for weed at all. It’s not a performance enhancing drug. And it has nothing to do with competition. It’s only tested for political reasons.”
She continued, “If one person tests for steroids, that could actually hurt a person, and the other person smokes a plant that makes him happy, and he gets suspended for five years! Whereas a guy who could hurt someone gets a slap on the wrist. It’s not fair! It’s not fair at all.”
Though Rousey was instigated to discuss cannabis because of Diaz's situation, she went even further to defend the plant itself rather than only Diaz and his use of it. Perhaps, Rousey might have been up in arms about Diaz's suspension and marijuana testing in sports because of her own understanding of the positive benefits of the cannabis plant.
In preparation for her highly anticipated fight with Bethe Correia earlier this summer, Rousey revealed that her meal and training regimen include two teaspoons of hemp seeds as part of her breakfast.
For clarification, marijuana and hemp do come from the same family, but hemp only has trace amounts of THC. Hemp seeds also are very nutritious, easily digestible and have plenty of vitamins and proteins.
Going forward, it remains a question as to how far Rousey will go to defend both her friend as well as her beliefs regarding marijuana testing in mixed martial arts.
In the days following the Diaz decision, several fighters proclaimed that all fellow fighters should collectively boycott fighting in Nevada. To date, Henry Cejudo and Leslie Smith are the only fighters to publicly state that they won't fight in Nevada anymore.
Though Rousey didn't hesitate to vocalize her beliefs about marijuana and Diaz's predicament, she has yet to make any other major moves to show support of the situation. She has not joined the fighters who have boycotted fighting in Nevada, nor has she made any other public moves regarding the issue. As one of today's most popular fighters, her voice and opinion could make a huge wave in the legalization and normalization movement.
Some fighters are afraid to boycott Nevada because the state is the fight mecca of America and a fight card in Nevada generally gets more attention than other cards, simply because of the location. In 2015, Rousey fought in Los Angeles and Brazil, and will go on to fight in Melbourne in Australia and has no plans to touch down in Nevada anytime soon.
Ronda is an amazing addition to the pro-side of cannabis legalization as the most popular female fighter (and arguably, fighter overall) in the world, and while she may be done making big moves in support of cannabis, at least now the world knows where she stands.
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