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CagePotato Open Discussion: Should Marijuana be Considered a PED?

(You know who had that look in his eyes? Chris Benoit.) 

Dave Herman’s recent failed pre-fight drug test and subsequent removal from his bout with Mike Russow has sparked debate across the web in regards to marijuana’s power (or lack thereof) as a performance enhancing drug. Some are saying Herman should have been pulled from the fight based on the illegality of the drug alone, a tough issue to deny. However, several studies have shown that certain strands of marijuana can provide a healing effect to the nervous system and could dramatically expedite the healing process of inflamed joints, which could prove incredibly beneficial to someone in the fight game.

Annie Appleseed Project, an alternative treatment foundation, has furthered research on the healing effect of marijuana, particularly to that of damaged nerves. They concluded that marijuana, in fact, can aid the nervous system beyond that of even morphine. Andrew Rice, a senior lecturer in pain at London’s Imperial College, had the following to say about marijuana’s ability to rehabilitate:

It’s known that if you injure a nerve, the morphine receptors in the spinal cord disappear and that’s probably why morphine isn’t a very effective pain killer for such conditions as shingles, people who have had an amputation or perhaps if cancer has invaded the spinal cord…But what we’ve shown is that the cannabinoid receptors do not disappear when you injure a nerve. So this could offer a therapeutic advantage over morphine for treating such pain.

There is no doubt of the possible benefits marijuana could provide an injured fighter, and with the ever increasingly legality of medical marijuana, why should those who sacrifice their bodies for a living be denied a possible means of rehabilitation? Now, I want to make something clear, I am not saying that painkillers should be legalized across the board based solely on the fact that they can aid the healing process. But unlike other forms of painkillers, marijuana does not mask the pain completely, it rather helps speed up the healing process while providing minor stress relief. Another issue, though perhaps a fickle one, is that of cost. Struggling fighters often cannot afford the necessary treatment to rehab their injuries, and could turn to marijuana as a financially reasonable means of aiding any nagging afflictions.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, responsible for the decision in the infamous Nick Diaz/Takanori Gomi debacle, was one of the first to put forth the sentiment that marijuana was considered a performance enhancer. NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer, when questioned about the issue immediately following the incident, had this to say:

 The main issue with marijuana is it slows the reflexes, putting the fighter at much greater risk. We would not let a fighter compete who is coming off arm surgery and has not fully recovered his reflexes, or who is under the influence of alcohol because of the same issue. Additionally, it may also deaden some pain. That could hurt the fighter… he may not tap out when he should and he suffers broken bones or torn ligaments as a result… or that could unfairly help him if he can trade punches more easily with his opponent.

Herein lies the issue; can marijuana significantly alter a fighter’s performance on the same level as a true PED like steroids, or should fighters that test positive for the substance be given a lighter sentence? And if marijuana were legally allowed for rehabilitative purposes, what kind of restrictions would have to be instilled (ie. time a fighter would be allowed to consume marijuana before a given fight) in order to ensure the fighter’s safety?

I ask you,  Potato Nation, to stake your claim on the issue in the comments section, using as much profane language as necessary, of course.


Cagepotato Comments

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Ricardo Guitardo- February 13, 2012 at 8:52 am
Weed is cool anyone who doesn't smoke it is a nerd and a square.
fatbellyfrank- September 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm
Have been a frequent user for quite a few years,on and off, i played Rugby league when i was much younger,which is a high speed collision sport, played a cuppla seasons straight, cuppla seasons while smoking, IMO def not performance enhancing, also decreases motivation, in my experience also decreased cardio levels and definitely fucked with recovery rate during games, to any sportsmen I'd say leave it alone, negatively impacts on:concentration, motivation,cardio fitness, recovery rate,basic hand eye skills and I'm sure there are other effects, If your gonna smoke, do it to relax and kick back, also gets rid of the hangover effects of a big night out and gets you ready to fire again, Pot is a RECREATIONAL drug, use it for this purpose, and as WWE's God father would say" Light up a fattie for this pimp daddy"
jaijaikkddf- September 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm
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frndlylion- September 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm
Nope just another dope smokin high school dropout until age 38. Now I have two degrees. AAS and BS

Scored in the 99 percentile on two of the 5 GED exams too. math was not one of them. lol
mmaandrew34- September 30, 2011 at 10:53 am
Marijuana would do nothing but hurt you're performance. People say it helps with jiu jitsu. Not really, it helps when you're doing some easy rolling it helps you move better. In an actual fight where you have to be very careful and you're getting punch in the face it wont help at all. I do however think this guy should get pulled from the card. Like dude do what 85% of the steroid users do in the ufc cycle it out of your system. You know you're gonna catch a ton of shit for it. It's pure stupidity that got him removed from the card.
pietaster- September 30, 2011 at 10:49 am
The only performance weed enhances is with video games.
ArmFarmer- September 30, 2011 at 8:44 am
Agree with Sacblues, for a lot of people weed makes pain and anxiety worse. When I'm dealing with conflict at work or anything and I get high, I can't think about anything but my problems. I'll sit there thinking "Was I in the wrong? Should I have kept my mouth shut? What do other people think about this?" It drives me crazy, can't even watch porn my mind just focuses on whatever bullshit is bothering me. Same with pain, if I cut my finger and then I get high I'll focus on the pain. Alcohol is a lot better for pain, don't feel shit when I'm drunk.
NotReadyStatus- September 30, 2011 at 5:30 am
@ Lion "I have been a recreational user of cannabis since I was 14 and I am now 44. Yes 30 years and if weed makes you so stupid why did I graduate not only class valedictorian in 2010, but TOP GPA OF THE ENTIRE GRADUATING CLASS." You graduated last year and you are 44?? What the fuck did you take, a quadruple doctorate?!
heartbreakjake- September 30, 2011 at 5:07 am
obviously illegal, but anybody who's ever smoked will tell you there's no way in hell it is a PED. stupid commisions.
TIME_TRAVELER_FROM_THE_FUTURE- September 30, 2011 at 4:04 am
"Struggling fighters often cannot afford the necessary treatment to rehab their injuries, and could turn to marijuana as a financially reasonable means of aiding any nagging afflictions."
That's one of the main reasons it was made illegal. Make no mistake, it became illegal because industries saw it as competition & lobbied congress to make it so.
Ever see those ridiculous "documentaries" like 'Reefer Madness'? Yea it's crap like that which scared people into letting the gov criminalize it.
Those same industries exist today, which is why it's still illegal. (Drug, Timber, Oil, Chemical)
Giblets- September 30, 2011 at 1:17 am
@Frndlylion that really depends on when you started?
frndlylion- September 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm
"I think some people kind of get “in the zone” when they are high"

Armfarmer is 100% correct. For some people such as myself I get into a zone and can function better in some cases than when sober. I can prove the old lie "pot makes you stupid" is completely untrue. I smoke EVERY DAY. I have been a recreational user of cannabis since I was 14 and I am now 44. Yes 30 years and if weed makes you so stupid why did I graduate not only class valedictorian in 2010, but TOP GPA OF THE ENTIRE GRADUATING CLASS. That means not just my program but ALL programs in the whole school. I aced all those final exams by enhancing my performance with cannabis.
frndlylion- September 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm
@NotReadyStatus The first guy I met in Seattle years ago. His best friend was telling about how screwed up he was on these pills and that was before he found out they were being snorted.

The 2nd guy I met at a medical cannabis dispensary. He was part owner and is now on trial by the feds. State laws says its legal for those of us with a prescription but the feds dont give a rip about that. All they care about was the thousands of $$$ they got in cash and equipment when they raided the place.
Jesus Frijoles- September 29, 2011 at 8:39 pm
Sativa vs Indica.....busy weed vs couch potato weed is the question.
RSparrow- September 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm
If the amount of jizz that comes out is a correlation of my performance, than I'd say it's not an enhancer.
SquidInk- September 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm
We live in a world where people are already in ignorant hysterics over what is a plant. Why potentially add fuel to the fire? Yeah, I got the joke. It was weak.
Get Off Me- September 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm
Some good points from Shitbag and Armfarmer.
I think in moderation Marijuana is not a bad thing.
Herman just needs to say he was at a party and people were smoking weed around him(MRUSS can tell you about Ross R the Olympic snowboarder defense).
I do not think a fighter who tests positive for Marijuana should face discipline, but since it has been decided that Mary Jane is a banned substance it really doesn't matter what I think.
If it's banned, it's banned, either find a way to mask it for the testing or simply do not smoke that shit. Not rocket science.
sacblues- September 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm
I am not a pro by any means, but I do train bjj and boxing and I smoke daily. IDK if it helps me find a rhythm or what but I def like to box and roll when I'm high. That being said, I tend to avoid smoking when I'm in pain or feeling anxious because it only makes it worse for me. I definitely don't think it is a p.e.d. like steroids, hgh, and so many other drugs can be. There is another drug out there that also reduces swelling and dulls pain and as far as I know is completely legal to take before a fight, it's called ibuprofen.
weioooo- September 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm
mjmcnns- September 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm
I haven't read the comments so I apologize if this has already been pointed out, but I don't believe it is a PED. My understanding is that marijuana is under the Banned Substances list, which is not the same thing as PED.
shitbag- September 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm
Furthermore why take a bunch of fuckin synthetic opiates in pill form which FUCKS up your organs and gets you addicted, when smoking weed does the same damn thing as far as pain relief and is natural and non-addictive. Oh, wait, drug companies give $$$$$$$$$ to politicians, I forgot.
shitbag- September 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm
I smoke weed every day. And while I don't trane UFC!!!!1!ONE!!! I do train boxing, and weed and yoga are the only fucking things on this earth that take care of my body to be able to put it through what I do to it in Boxing. Its no performance inhancer, thats for damn sure. Getting high before doing any training/fighting makes no fucking sense at all whatsoever.
hhynike- September 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm
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GistoftheFist- September 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm
People keep making Benoit jokes, and they still aren't funny no matter how many times you hear it. A woman and her child were murdered and Benoit committed suicide. Tee hee.
ReX13- September 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm
still waiting to hear if BGeezy, GusBuster, CrushCo, Danga, Mohawk Falvo, and JMo burn it down.

i'm thinking about 50% of the CP staff are enhancing their comedic performances from time to time.