UFC Fighters Rose Namajunas and Michael Chiesa Want Marijuana Removed from Banned List


Wisely, UFC fighters Rose Namajunas and Michael Chiesa want marijuana removed from banned list of substances competitors can’t use leading up to their mixed martial arts bouts. The two up-and-comers stated their positions on cannabis during a Q&A session ahead of UFC 195. Chiesa trains in Washington State while Namajunas fights out of Colorado, the first two states to legalize cannabis.

Michael Chiesa currently ranks as the #14 lightweight fighter in the UFC while Rose Namajunas is currently ranked #3 in the women’s strawweight division. Chiesa is coming off of an impressive win against former title contender Jim Miller while Namajunas completely dominated Paige VanZant, the #7 ranked fighter in her division.

Both fighters discuss the absurdity of the prohibition on cannabis use, especially compared to alcohol and more dangerous pharmaceuticals. The UFC’s moderator seemed to be nervous about treading on the subject of cannabis, but Chiesa and Namajunas weren’t skittish about talking about the issue at all. Rose even threw in a #FreeNickDiaz reference, as Nick Diaz has been given a ridiculous 5 year suspension for using marijuana. We are seeing more and more athletes speaking out about the need for sports to adhere to science and not politics on the issue of cannabis use, notably former UFC champion Ronda Rousey.

Many world-class athletes have used cannabis, from Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams to Olympic legends Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, proving that athletes can utilize cannabis and achieve their goals. Additionally, there is evidence that medical cannabis can help prevent concussions as Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Lester Grinspoon states in his open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  Hopefully, for the sake of athletes and our society, even more professional competitors will speak out soon so we can implement a sane policy that is better for all of us, including those sacrificing their bodies for our entertainment.

Click here for the pertinent marijuana portion of the Q&A. The entire Q&A is below:

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.