Over the past few years, there have been a number of fighters in mixed martial arts that have had the results of their bouts overturned and received suspensions from the local governing bodies because of testing positive for marijuana. The suspensions have come under fire because of the length of the suspensions, which often seem very unfair. Depending on where the failed drug test takes place, marijuana suspension can last as long as suspensions for elevated testosterone levels.
That presents an obvious problem.
This sends the message that marijuana and steroids should result in the same punishment and that has rubbed a lot of fighters the wrong way.
One fighter, Thiago Silva, has spoken up about the issue.
“You know, it’s very complicated what to say about that,” said Silva, according to BJPenn.com. “A lot of guys, they like to drink, you know; I don’t drink, I like to smoke. I don’t smoke any more, because I really can’t [with my career], but I used to like a lot because it helps me to relax- it’s not like a drug like everybody say[s]. So actually, it’s legal in California, you know. To be honest, I don’t think it’s fair, you know, because it doesn’t change your performance.”
In a way, Silva has a point.
If marijuana is legally prescribed for a fighter, he should be able to do that in his own time without having to worry about any form of punishment. However, each sport can regulate usage of any substance however they see fit.
There are many of people in the jiu-jitsu community that view marijuana as a performance enhancer because it allows you to focus and see things from a different mindset. So while everyone may not believe it affects your performance, there are many that believe it does.
If the UFC wants to suspend fighters because of marijuana usage, they have every right to. Let’s just hope that they find a way to bring back the suspensions to a more reasonable level of two or three months.
What do you think about marijuana in mixed martial arts? Sound off in the comments section and share your thoughts.