Ronda Rousey Blasts Nevada Commission For Testing UFC Fighters For Pot

By McCarton Ackerman 09/18/15

The UFC superstar came out swinging in defense of Nick Diaz.

Ronda Rousey

UFC superstar Ronda Rousey spoke out this week in defense of her close friend and fellow fighter Nick Diaz, who was handed a five-year suspension earlier this month by the Nevada Athletic Commission for a positive, post-fight marijuana test.

Speaking in Australia to promote her fight against Holly Holm, Rousey said that fighters shouldn’t be tested at all for marijuana. Although the organization considers it a performance-enhancing drug, she believes it’s impossible for anyone who’s under the influence of it to be successful in the cage.

“It’s not a performance-enhancing drug. It has nothing to do with the competition and it’s only because of political reasons they say, ‘Oh, it’s only for your safety,’” she said. “Why don’t they test for all of the other things that could possibly hurt us, that we could be under the influence of while we’re out there?”

Opponents of the suspension have pointed to hypocrisy in punishment standards for positive drug tests. Recently, Nevada granted Vitor Belfort a license to fight for a title at UFC 187, a year after failing a drug test for elevated testosterone. California also gave Bellator fighter Fernando Gonzalez a mere 90-day suspension and $1,500 fine for his positive marijuana test.

“It’s so unfair that if one person tests for steroids that could actually really hurt a person, and another person smokes a plant that makes them happy, he gets suspended for five years, whereas the guy who could have hurt someone so much that he could have died in there gets a slap on the wrist,” said Rousey.

A petition was filed to to have Diaz’s suspension lifted, declaring that the ruling was "based on their personal feelings and beliefs towards the use of medical marijuana and used their power to deprive Mr. Diaz of being able to make a living."

As of Sept. 18, it has over 42,000 signatures. If it can reach over 100,000 signatures by Oct. 14, President Obama will be required to formally respond to it.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.