Common sense on testing fighters for marijuana: Is that too much to ask, Nevada? | Opinion – MMA Junkie

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By | December 3, 2020 7:40 pm

Medicinal marijuana is legal in 36 states. Recreational marijuana is now legal in 15 states, with South Dakota and Montana – neither of which are liberal hippie enclaves – among the latest to get on board.

Among those states in which both medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal? Nevada, where billboards promoting dispensaries have become as ubiquitous as those advertising casinos and gentlemen’s clubs.

Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug. It has become a popular choice for recovery and relaxation for a large number of combat sports athletes. In a survey of 170 professional fighters conducted by The Athletic earlier this year, 45.9 percent said they currently use marijuana. Another 4.7 percent said they at one point did but no longer do. A whopping 76.5 percent said they use cannabidiol (CBD) products, which are derived from cannabis.

That’s a significant percentage of athletes dealing with regular physical pain who choose to heal with weed or some derivative of it when, in the past, addictive painkillers were their only legal option.

But the Nevada Athletic Commission continues to plow ahead like a bored small-town sheriff throwing people in jail over minor traffic violations.

Niko Price is the latest fighter caught in the NAC’s “Reefer Madness” dragnet. Price was coming off the biggest result of his career, a draw with Donald Cerrone in a well-fought contest at UFC Fight Night 178 on Sept. 19.

Due to what was termed “trace amounts” of THC, the NAC is preventing Price from making a living in his chosen profession for six months and stealing – oops, I mean fining him – $8,500 of his fight purse (the commission used to make full fighter purses a matter of public record, but no

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