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Controversy Over Marijuana Usage Continues, but Nick Diaz Risks Career With Another Positive Test

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Controversy Over Marijuana Usage Continues, but Nick Diaz Risks Career With Another Positive Test
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Controversy Over Marijuana Usage Continues, but Nick Diaz Risks Career With Another Positive Test

UFC 158 main eventer Nick Diaz doesn’t make any secret of his use of medical marijuana, and says that he has approval to legally do so in the state of California, where he resides.

Several states, Colorado and Washington among the most recent, have even legalized limited recreational use of marijuana.

Athletic commissions, however, prohibit the use of performance enhancing and recreational drugs, such as marijuana, so, whether you agree or disagree with it, Diaz has no license that grants him to have it in his system come fight time.

This is only an issue because Diaz has twice before tested positive for marijuana metabolites. In fact, he is coming off of a one-year suspension for just that substance as he enters Saturday’s fight for Georges St-Pierre’s UFC welterweight championship belt.

With two past strikes on his record, could Diaz’s UFC tenure survive another?

UFC president Dana White thinks not, believing that releasing Diaz from his contract would likely be inevitable if he tests positive following the St-Pierre fight.

“I would say we would probably have to,” White commented following the UFC 158 pre-fight press conference.

The promotion has already set a precedent with Matt Riddle, who was recently released from his contract after having a victory changed to a no contest for the second time following a positive drug test for marijuana metabolites.

That’s not to say that White is any different than a large, vocal segment of the fight fan population that disagrees with marijuana being a banned substance.

“To say that marijuana is a performance enhancing drug, I think it’s the exact opposite.  What the commission is saying is they think it’s a painkiller, still ridiculous,” said White.

“I don’t believe in it, but here’s the facts. It’s illegal. You can’t do it. It says it in the regulations you can’t, and if you get busted for doing it you’re going to be in big trouble.  You’re going to lose money.  You’re going to lose the ability to work for a year, so it is what it is.  I just hope it doesn’t happen on Saturday.”

Diaz has used marijuana for the majority of his career, which spans 35 professional fights, and tested positive just twice. He stops using before fights because he is not oblivious. He realizes that he isn’t allowed to have it in his system when the drug test is administered, but he has slipped up, at least on those two occasions.

He doesn’t think it will happen again, and doesn’t seem overly concerned that he’ll test positive following Saturday night’s fight.

“I think I tested for a metabolite or a nanogram or something (following my last fight), so it was hardly, so I just did a little more than I did last time,” said Diaz when asked about testing positive again.

“I’m sorry if I don’t pass the test, but it should work out.  I’ve passed plenty of them before, unless they just weren’t testing me.”

This is the biggest fight of Nick Diaz’s career. A positive test would be disastrous, at the very least, for his UFC tenure. But then again, Diaz was intending to retire after testing positive following his last fight.

As White has often said, he’s a “unique personality,” and whether or not he’s overly concerned about a drug test, Diaz isn’t showing it leading up to the fight.

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