In the past week alone there have been two UFC fighters flagged by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NAC) for being over the legal in-competition limit for marijuana usage. This has been a problem regularly with fighters who must forfeit wins and face suspensions for having taken a drug that is banned during the in-competition time. That is notable because athletes are allowed to use marijuana if they are out of competition, without a fight booked. This has been a hot button issue for many. Fighters and fans would like to see this rule be changed or banned. Dana White spoke to media following Wednesday nights Contender Series fights and expressed his thoughts on the subject.
“We’ve been working on that for a long time, I’m surprised that actually happened. They must’ve been way over the threshold, then,” White said. “I don’t think you can not test. When you’re in a competition, you have to test these guys. You can’t let somebody go into the ring high. It just can’t happen. I don’t know what to do with that. We’re trying to loosen it up, but at the same time, you can’t have guys showing up high.”
Many times when fighters test positive for marijuana, the punishment comes in the form of fines and suspensions, somethings up to six months. Most recently lightweight Kevin Croom and DWCS fighter Jose Flores were hit with punishment from NAC. Croom was suspended for four months and handed an $1800 fine.
The limit for acceptable limit for cannabis was raised by the Nevada State Athletic Commission from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL, White would like to see that even higher. Although fighters know that taking this substance within the in-competition time is not allowed, many times a fighter will take a fight on short notice and the failure is unavoidable at that point. It is a flawed system at the moment.