The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has officially increased the threshold for failing a marijuana test to 150ng/mL (from 50ng/mL) following similar moves by the UFC (for international events), the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the Association of Boxing Commissions. The folks at MiddleEasy, having taken a celebratory toke or three themselves, ebulliently described this 200% increase as a “300% increase,” accentuating its “far-out” quality.
As easy as it would be to bill this as a total victory, we here at Fightlinker don’t take the “coward’s way out,” as TJ Grant would say, so I’ll plainly state that it’s not a total victory. Every other MMA outlet out there will probably make the cheap joke of billing this development as a pro-Nick Diaz development. However, this would have only negated one of Diaz’s two NSAC suspensions. His most recent 12-month suspension was for a sample reading 25ng/mL (which he was rumored to deliver after ingesting multiple gallons of water, but that is neither here nor there); that one would now fly under the radar.
However, the original insane-on-its-face overturning of Diaz’s gogoplata victory over Takanori Gomi would have still taken place under the new 150ng/mL threshold. At that time, Diaz’s level was 175ng/mL, and NSAC Chair Tony Alamo was quoted as saying, “I was there at this fight and believe that you were intoxicated and… that it made you numb to the pain. Did it help you win? I think it did.” I personally don’t buy it: I do BJJ stoned all the time, and it still hurts. Plus, someone like Nick Diaz would either have to fight on edibles (probably not a smart idea) or smoke pot in the few minutes before a fight if he actually wanted to be high come fight time. Not likely. But under the new regulations, Diaz would still have no recourse against this same bullshit logic of pot being performance-enhancing.
The only meaningful thing pot provides is the entertainment factor: sober, Diaz would be a cranky nightmare to be around; on weed, after the fight, he called Gomi a “bobble head” and described his own hairdo as a “pile of dogshit” because he hadn’t gotten it cut due to being busy smoking weed and training. I would contend that Diaz deserves an extra commendation in the record books for having succeeded while he was so high. With weed being fully legal in numerous states, there should be no threshold. The level that actually comes up is highly dependent on hydration anyway. Although it’s good to see a significant domino fall in favor of maybe semi-sanity in the weed wars, it would be better to see the problem fixed completely.