I am not a UFC/MMA fan by any means. I have just never really gotten into it. You may say I am a stoner, not a fighter. That being said, I have a hell of a lot of respect for the time, energy, and strength that goes into the sport. Those dudes train hard to perfect their craft and take a beating just to do their job.
Which brings me to Nick Diaz. While I may not be a huge fan of the sport, I am a huge fan of Nick Diaz. Why? Because of his open admission that he smokes weed, and an even a more comical approach to beating the tests for weed. Unfortunately, Nick got a little ahead of himself on that and his weed use got him suspended from the sport for a year. That is correct. You heard me right. UFC stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, and severely damaged one of their best fighter’s career because he smokes weed.
Obviously Nick has good medical reason for using cannabis. Beyond the physical punishment that fighting has given him, the mental stress and anguish have also got to be tough to deal with. A lot goes into being a high profile prize fighter…especially for a kid who never graduated high school and rapidly rose to success in his sport. I am sure medical cannabis helps Nick Diaz in ways a lot of folks could never imagine. Yet, here we are in this day and age still ruining people’s lives and careers because they choose to use weed. What the hell is wrong with this society?
This kid is one of the baddest fighters in the world and capable of being a champion on any given day. But because he smokes weed he is ostracized and suspended from his sport for a year and is still being threatened with never fighting again. I just do not get it.
But I love Nick Diaz’s way of dealing with it. Instead of cowering like a chicken shit and bowing down to the UFC overlord, Dana White, he came out swinging and admitted he still smoked weed and was still working on beating the test instead of stopping his weed use. Nick Diaz should get a fucking award for this. The man has balls the size of jeep tires, and has literally put his money where his mouth is. Diaz has lost a year of work (not chump change either), and continues to hold strong to his weed convictions even when it has cost him so much, and could cost him his career. Nick Diaz has more courage in his weed pipe than most of these so-called warriors do in their entire entourage.
It is one thing to be a good fighter, or athlete. Plenty of people can do that. But in the bigger picture of society, Nick Diaz has chosen to make a point and take a stand for something he believes in. Nick Diaz believes in weed and has no intention of backing off that to please the powers at be…nor should he. Weed is safe and for Nick, weed is helpful. He does not need to be ashamed of his weed use.
In a sport whose main sponsor is BUD LIGHT, it is terrible that weed use is even an issue. Here is a sport that is promoting people getting drunk, and who have no penalties for their fighters drinking a whole keg of Bud Light, yet they want to ruin a person’s career over the much safer choice to smoke weed. The world is full of hypocrites, but there is nothing more evil than the way pro-sports bows down to the booze industry in exchange for sponsorship money. Here is a sport that takes millions from companies promoting getting drunk and the evils that come with that, but Diaz’s use of weed is just too much. Here is what UFC President Dana White said after Nick tested positive last year:
“My stance on the whole thing is… it’s not allowed. You’re not allowed to do it. Whatever the commission says you’re not allowed to do, you’re not allowed to do. It doesn’t matter what I think,” UFC president Dana White stated in a meeting with reporters following Tuesday’s UFC 146 press conference in Las Vegas.
“I don’t smoke weed. It’s not my thing. It’s illegal; you can’t do it. I can’t present an argument for why (Nick Diaz) should be cool to have marijuana in his system.”
So even Dana White, who continues to threaten firing him if he tests positive again, does not have a good reason why weed is a bad thing for Nick or the sport beyond “because it is illegal.” Well Dana….it used to be illegal to drink booze to. But could anyone imagine Jack Dempsey not being allowed to fight because he enjoyed some booze during alcohol prohibition? No. Because that would have been stupid and had absolutely zero to do with Dempsey’s boxing skills. Just like Nick’s use of weed has zero to do with his ability as an MMA fighter.
Listen to Diaz in his own words about why he smokes weed from a 2009 LA Times article:
“I’m more consistent about everything being a cannabis user,” Diaz said in an interview with The Times last week. “I’m happy to get loaded, hear some good music . . . I remain consistent. And I have an easy way to deal with [the drug tests].
Diaz….argues marijuana eases problems he has battled since childhood when, he says, he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and prescribed mood-altering medication. His rebellion as a youth forced him to relocate to schools where he continually felt out of place and he ultimately became a high school dropout.
Nick Diaz has the right to smoke weed. A much more valid right than the right of everyone and their mamma to drink booze. It is the law that is stupid and the policies of the UFC that need to be changed. It was obvious in Nick’s title fight last night that his one year suspension for weed did affect his ability. There is no way it couldn’t. Here is what he told MMA Junkie about the situation after the fight in response to their asking him about possibly changing up his training home:
“I can’t be jumping teams,” Diaz told MMAjunkie.com. “I just have to do the best with what I have. You know what? I’ve never paid taxes in my life, no joke. And no one wants to hear that kind of talk and what’s going on with me. I might as well just be a kid. I’ve had fight after fight after fight after fight, and you don’t know what that does to somebody who didn’t graduate high school. Take it into consideration for a second what three fights a year will do to you your whole life. And the only time you have some time off, it’s not like it’s a vacation – everybody’s telling you you’re this piece of s—, you’re suspended, you ain’t fighting this guy, you ain’t fighting that guy, you have to come back and dance around a bunch of hard hitting people. It’s a rough sport.”
Diaz pondered retirement saying this:
“I just feel like I fought everybody that I set out to fight,” Diaz said. “Johny (Hendricks) here, he’s a new guy. Jake (Ellenberger)’s been around for a little while. But I just feel like I’ve taken care of everything I wanted to do in the sport. This is hard stuff. I don’t ever get any time off. I’ve only had a year off one time, and it was a stressful year. I was pretty bent out of shape that I didn’t win that (Condit) fight. Nobody ever assured me, ‘They’re going to give you that (St-Pierre) fight.’ I was just sitting around depressed the whole year off. I can sit here and make a million excuses about why I wasn’t ready for the fight. But I want a rematch. I think I could beat you. I think I may be a better matchup for Anderson Silva, as well. But we’ll see what happens. I didn’t really have a good first round. I just think I could’ve been a little better prepared for this fight. I think next time, if I did get an extra shot, I think people would try to help me out a little bit.”
It is obvious Nick has a lot on his mind and I do not blame him for being a bit discouraged. It has got to be crazy frustrating to be forced from your career, your passion, and what you are best at because you like to smoke weed. Nick paid a lot for his “pro-weed I will do what I want” position, and I respect the hell out of him for it. When you look at the reason the athletic commission claims the drug is banned you can see beyond a shadow of a doubt that their reasoning is beyond bullshit.
“The drug is banned because of the damage it does to the person taking it,” said Keith Kizer, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive officer. “It could make you lethargic, slow your reflexes, and those are dangerous things in a combat sport.”
Well, for a person who you claim would be “lethargic, an have slow reflexes” Nick sure has overcome a lot to get where he is. It is clear that the commission does not see weed as a “performance enhancing drug,” as their position is that it decreases a person’s performance to a point of danger. Well, isn’t that a person’s choice to make themselves? If the drug is not giving them a competitive advantage, and to your account is giving him less of an advantage, then shouldn’t Diaz not only be allowed to use weed but be celebrated for his ability to perform while even being lethargic and slow? I mean, the commission is basically saying he is winning all of these fights and moving up the rankings despite his usage of a drug that makes him less able to perform. That is the shit! It is like he is fighting with one arm tied behind his back…and you want to suspend the guy? He is a beast to be celebrated and honored.
Instead, our society chooses to punish and make a mockery out of people who smoke weed. We continue to throw away some of the best and brightest just because they use weed. It never ceases to amaze me. When will we end this madness and stop treating people who like weed as second class citizens? Nick Diaz is a hero….not for his fighting; but because he has the balls to stand up and tell the truth and defend his right to use weed even in the face of criticism, unfair punishment, and loss of income.
If more people in our society had the courage and strength of Nick Diaz we would be in a lot better shape.
When being interviewed after the fight by Joe Rogan, Diaz flirted with retirement saying, “Hopefully I made enough money to invest in something.” Well Nick, if UFC wants to dog you out we would love to have you as an investor and spokesperson in the emerging weed industry. I am happy to discuss the many opportunities whenever and wherever. Have your people call my people.
Mickey Martin- (510) 377-1990
UPDATE: Nick Diaz was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission…not UFC as originally reported.