Ronda Rousey: “I’m against them testing for any weed at all.”

   

Dominating UFC Champion Ronda Rousey, who we previously noted eats hemp seeds when she is training and has stood up for a fighter punished for testing positive for marijuana in the past, has lashed out against the 5-year suspension of fellow fighter Nick Diaz (which Marijuana Politics blogger Russ Belville just covered.) The outspoken women’s bantamweight champion, who has become the highest-paid mixed martial artist in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, spoke out at a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, promoting her next championship bout against the former boxing champion Holly Holm. From MSN:

“I’m sorry, I know no one asked me anything but I have to say something,” Rousey said. “It’s so not right for (Diaz) to be suspended five years for marijuana. I’m against them testing for any weed at all. It’s not a performance-enhancing drug. It has nothing to do with athletic competition, and it’s only tested for political reasons so they say, ‘Oh, it’s only for your safety so you’re not hurting yourself when you’re out there.’ So why don’t they test for all the other things that could possibly hurt us that we could be under the influence of while we’re out there?

“There’s no reason for them to be testing for weed. In athletics, the beautiful thing about it is it separates everything from politics. It shouldn’t be involved at all.”

Rousey expressed frustration in the fact Diaz’s UFC 183 opponent Silva, who failed multiple drug tests around the event for anabolic steroids, was only handed a one-year suspension for his violation. Diaz’s repeat offender status played a role in the outcome of his case, but regardless of that, Rousey said the difference in punishments shows an obvious problem.

As MSN reported, Rousey went on to state: “I don’t think marijuana should be part of the conversation at all. I think it’s an invasion of privacy for them to test for it, and they have no right.”

While Rousey thinks that “they should free Nick Diaz” she noted that it was the Nevada State Athletic Commission who levied the unfair suspension and not the UFC. Diaz, a longtime fan favorite and former Strikeforce champion, only has a few major fights left in him. While other fighters have spoken out against this draconian suspension, which really amounts to a lifetime ban, as mma is primarily a young person’s sport that doesn’t see many fighters competing at the top levels beyond the age of 35 or so, Rousey’s star power has certainly elevated the discussion.

Rousey, who has feuded with boxer, and convicted domestic abuser, Floyd Mayweather, has seen her star soar as she has gone mainstream into Hollywood movies and the public consciousness. The conventional wisdom would be that “Rowdy” is taking a risk speaking out on the issue, but with a majority of Americans now supporting cannabis legalization, she is staking out a place on the right side of history and in a comfortable place with the Marijuana Majority. Some have argued that Rousey may go down as the greatest mixed martial artist in history and her fame doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. I sincerely thank Ronda Rousey for speaking out so strongly as her position on cannabis will only add to the momentum for true freedom and equality for the cannabis community.

 

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.