More on Medical Marijuana

The Nick Diaz saga, which I first wrote about here, continues:

He was placed under temporary suspension when a post-fight drug test revealed the presence of marijuana metabolites in his system.

Diaz’s camp has attacked the merits of the NSAC’s case from the beginning, suggesting that the marijuana metabolites that prompted his failed test aren’t banned by the commission.

In a pair of responses to Diaz’s positive test, Goodman argued that the commission had no legal basis to suspend Diaz for marijuana metabolites and stated Diaz had not violated statutes when he used the drug outside of competition. In the first response, the lawyer included an affidavit from Diaz that acknowledged he was a medical-marijuana patient in California and had ceased using the drug eight days prior to the fight.

So the crux of the argument here, if I understand it correctly, is that marijuana use several days out from a fight should be permissable provided the fighter has a medical marijuana prescription. A fighter coming into the cage high is obviously a no-no and I don’t hear anyone arguing anything different on that point.

I don’t know enough about testing for marijuana but can they tell the difference? If so, I say let the guy smoke all he wants as long as there is a cut-off period (let’s say 7 days to be fair).

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One thought on “More on Medical Marijuana

  1. I’m answering this because one of my degrees is in forensic science and I’ve taken some graduate courses on the the toxicology of “drugs of abuse”. The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is THC, which is a lipid soluble molecule. Cocaine,heroin, and the “speedy” drugs tend to be water soluble. In practical terms, this means THC can be detected much, much longer after use than the other drugs mentioned. In other words, Nick Diaz could have used medical marijuana a week before the fight and smoked crack four days before the fight and then tested positive for pot and negative for cocaine.

    You can make some educated guesses about the amount and frequency of usage based on the concentration of drug metabolites that show up in the urine test, but cannot say definitively when the last dose took place. You could set up a system similar to cycling wrt erythropoietin doping by monitoring the fighters regularly throughout the year and trying to get a personal baseline for the metabolites in their system. But there’s not really anything like a breathalyzer for anything but alcohol – a non-invasive test which definitively shows someone’s level of intoxication at that moment.


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