(Bad news like this is never easy to hear. Nick’s just going to have a minor freakout and then he’ll be with you in a moment.)
As any California resident with ADD and a desire to make jam bands seem worth listening to already knows, getting a prescription for medical marijuana in the Golden State is really no problem. Fighting for a living after smoking said medical marijuana, however, that’s a trickier issue.
Nick Diaz has the state’s consent to smoke his little heart out, but he doesn’t have the CSAC’s permission to fight with it in his system. His ability to beat a drug test with sufficient notice is well documented, but so is his inability to even show up for the test when he doesn’t get that notice. Just to make sure their position on medical marijuana use by licensed athletes is clear, the CSAC went ahead and made their case for coming down hard on the Nick Diaz’s of the sporting world, issuing a statement that draws upon state supreme court precedent to arrive at this conclusion:
Because the Compassionate Use Act only provides a defense to criminal charges, any argument that the Act would allow an athlete to use the drug without consequences to his or her license must fail. If the Court were to take up a similar challenge to discipline of a licensee, it would likely find that the Commission has a legitimate interest in whether or not an athlete uses the drug because marijuana could slow a fighter’s reflexes and endanger his or her health and safety in the ring or the cage.
Therefore, given the limited reach of the Compassionate Use Act and the rationale of the Supreme Court in Ross v. RagingWire Telcomm, the Commission may safely discipline an athlete without running afoul of any law or court decision.
In other words, it’s your right to get high and play Xbox to soothe your anxiety disorder, but that doesn’t mean the CSAC can’t fine or suspend you if pop positive.
Diaz’s method of beating drug tests may work just fine for teenagers trying to get a job at a store in the mall. As long as you know when you’re going to pee and there are no surprises, it’s not all that difficult for a veteran from the 209. But when the CSAC can call him up and tell him to submit to a pre-licensing test without more than a week’s notice, he’s going to be screwed every single time. For a guy who hopes to continue fighting in Strikeforce, which loves to hold events in California, it might be almost enough to make him consider some life changes. Or at least it might be if he went through the same rational decision-making process as normal people.