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Friday, 02/10/2012, 01:56 pm

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Editorial Spotlight: The Training While Smoking Weed Debate From Someone Who Does Both

To me, this was an easy decision, and as I’ve found out over the years, it was critical for me to steer clear of things that might relapse me. I go in, train every day, but also run a full time business, and contrinute my writings to BJPENN.COM, along with countless other things. I have never had pot cause a hindrance in my work or training, although every individual is different, and some are certainly more likely to overdo it. In Nick’s case, you have a guy whose not only an elite mixed martial artist, but is also someone who will only fuel his body with the what he feels is the best. His diet and training regimen are unmatched. He doesn’t eat junk, and his entire life has revolved around being as fit as possible. Given how particular he is with what he puts in his body, if he was really causing himself harm, would he not notice it? A lot of people may not give Nick credit for being the most book smart guy, but when it comes to training and diet, I’m sure he’s pretty well versed. Was the risk worth it though? He had a previous failure from his 2007 fight with Takanori Gomi, but this time the stakes were much higher. With a UFC title up for grabs, and millions of dollars on the line, why didn’t he just quit during fight time? I really don’t think he thought he would get caught though. He had fought about a dozen times in the US after his fight with Gomi, so in all likeliness, it was simply carelessness that caught up with him. Either way, you can certainly make the argument that with so much riding on the line, he should have stopped, but he probably truly feels like he’s done no harm in any way, and it would be like being told you’re in trouble for drinking your morning coffee.

Athletes from all sports have all caught grief for smoking pot, as even Olympic gold medalist swimmer, Michael Phelps was blasted for it. To me, the problem is not whether Diaz broke the rules, as he certainly did. The real question is whether this rule is even necessary? To me, it’s simply punishing people unfairly, and in the end, not only will Diaz lose a year worth of paychecks, but his opponents and the fans are also being punished. They get to miss out on what will likely be a huge payday, as both his rematch with Condit, and a possible fight with GSP, were all highly anticipated, and bound to do big business. Meanwhile, the fans now have to wait for the dust to settle, while Diaz serves out a suspension, and only then can these fights possibly come to fruition. People love to use the phrase “let the punishment fit the crime”, it’s just a shame that people are getting punished when no crime was really committed.

Read More: Nick Diaz (News), Marijuana In MMA, Athletic Suspensions

- The opinions outlines in this article are that of BJPENN.COM columnist George Mathews and are presented to you for discussion.

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88 Comments to Editorial Spotlight: The Training While Smoking Weed Debate From Someone Who Does Both

    • Not an idiot says:

      These kinds of idiots introduce the stereotype and cause this kind of shit.

      If people weren’t immature and retarded about cannabis, it probably would be legal and we wouldn’t have to hear “OH THIS GUY GOT KICKED OUT FOR SMOKING WEED BECAUSE ITS SOOOO BAD” etc. (Retarded example, I know)

      Get the fuck off my internet and go kill yourself or something useful.

  1. cheez pono says:

    i would rather listen to nick diaz talk while under the influence than sober. He can’t put a complete sentence to save his life. LOL

  2. Considering every time I used to get baked i’d have severe fucking difficulty gathering the ingredients for ‘cheese on toast’ – IE; cheese, and toast – and sit in silence for ten minutes wondering what I was supposed to be doing after i’d decided to put another CD on and instantly forgot, i’d say Diaz deserves a goddam medal for entering a professional fighting organisation and kicking the fuck out of someone whilst taking incoming punishment!

    The man’s a legend.

  3. VIPER says:

    Un desastre la traducción. Como se hace para entender una nota así?

  4. Mustard pancakes says:

    Yes Eddie speaks the truth.

    • Dustin says:

      By: George C. Mathews

      just cause it has a pic of eddie bravo doesnt mean he wrote it.. joe rogan is there tooo.. why not say joe speaks the truth.. american potheads are dumb.. come to canada we got 41% THC in our shit and it gets you proper fucked. not sloppy fucked.

  5. gyeah says:

    Well written article but I have to disagree with the statement “no crime was really committed” clearly he broke the Nevada fight commission rules as well as state and federal bans on a controlled substance. That is the only fact that matters. I agree the control of this “Drug” needs to be revisited, however, until then rules are rules and laws are laws and that is not debatable.

    • Robertkrafl says:

      He was a medical permit to smoke it

      • e says:

        his card is only good in CA.

        • keyboardkungfu says:

          There’s no proof he smoked in nevada. weed stays in your system for up to 30 days. He could just be testing positive for THC from something he smoked in CA. He clearly broke the Nevada fight commission rules, but there is no proof that he broke the ‘LAW’… just sayin :P

    • amber trichome says:

      rules and laws are not always correct. they tend to be created by those in power, and those currently in power are manipulated by corporate lobbyist.
      remember our founding fathers… they broke the rules and laws, under penalty of death… and they grew hemp and smoked weed.

  6. pthance says:

    Lets all get one thing straight. Nick failed his POST fight drug test, not his pre fight one. In my eyes, he retired himself after that fight and probably lit up to calm himself post fight. I also think it was a deliberate attempt on his part to solidify his retirement and give the UFC and NSAC a big fat middle finger in the process. Whether you like or hate him, Nick has always been real, and I seriously doubt he was posturing about his retirement (at the time). Hopefully he will be back someday, but lets not all think he didn’t know what he was doing post fight…he just didn’t care about what he considered the bullshit anymore.

    • zach says:

      See and that’s what I think is bullshit he was done in his mind and still has to be punished, honestly if I was in the same position after a bullshit 4-1 call I would have burned some buds too. Im sure alot of people would too, he also has a card so I dont get why he has to be punished for some shit that he can do legally like 100 miles in one direction

      • John Blaze says:

        doesn’t matter what any of you guys would do or what you think he did and why he did it, given the circumstances, diaz is a fucking retard. LMAO at any type of justification for his stupid actions. IDIOT! rofl!

  7. Aaronbson says:

    I’d say Alcohol, caffeine and prescription drugs are way worse than marijuana. I think the world would be a better place if most of these uptight people got some THC in their system.

  8. the original steve says:

    bj acting like he doesn’t smoke a joint before he rolls

  9. toneloc24 says:

    Nick has a legal prescription for medical marijuana in the state of California. This whole situation is ridiculous. Some fighters can get cleared to artificially boost their testosterone levels by the commission but somebody who uses medical marijuana for obvious anxiety problems can’t. This is just a case of a bunch of old jerkoffs messing with a kid they think is a punk because they can. This will probably end the career of one of the last true warriors we have left in the game and I’m deeply disappointed. Please come back BJ PENN we need u more than ever!

  10. banks says:

    Hahaha smoke weed erryday

  11. mikej says:

    superman smokes weed.

  12. Anthony C says:

    @David it’s “organization” that’s the wrong spelling actually.
    Americans changed a lot of conventional English as it was far too complicated for them :)

    • Harris170 says:

      Your a retard the only difference in the spelling of those words is one letter. We change the spelling so we don’t have to sounds like fruitcakes like Brits do when they talk. So go sip some tea, perhaps brush your teeth and take orders from an old ass senile woman. Cheers homo!! Ha

  13. Thurgood Jenkins says:

    This is one of the most intelligent articles I have read in a long time – not just on this site but anywhere. Did Pedro write this? Or was it Eddie Bravo? I think someone above said it was Eddie.

    Anyway, I can absolutely relate to the part talking about smoking weed over taking Xanax or Valium to prevent relapse. I have battled addiction myself. Alcohol has been the sole contributor to all the major problems I have ever experienced. A pretty significant cocaine habit to supplement the booze didn’t exactly make things any better. But I’ve been clean for nearly seven years, and I still don’t see the problem with marijuana. Toward the end of my run I refrained from smoking due to enhanced paranoia, but that was probably the result of many cocajuana cocktails. I never plan on drinking another drop of alcohol or doing “drugs.” However, I can definitely see myself blazin’ the tweeds a little later on after I accomplish what I want to accomplish.

    Overall, my point is that at one point drugs were my business and business was good. But I cannot recall one marijuana-related experience that would have given me the edge in a fist fight. Like so many other people on this site over the last few days have stated, marijuana is only good to enhance the mental aspect. I used to burn in undergrad and be focused enough to study. That’s the extent regarding its “performing enhancing” effects. Aside from that, Pete said it quite well above when he mentioned his bread-and-toast dilemma. I spent many a night in convenient stores trying to decide between Cheetos and Munchos. PED? C’mon. Let’s be serious.

    My other point is related to what Gyeah said above. As of now, Diaz did break the rules. That’s not debatable. But changing the rules is. Some seemingly ironclad precedent has been overturned. All it took was some sort of vehicle in which to do so, e.g. Roe v. Wade; Brown v. Board of Education, the latest Proposition 8 decision. The legalization of marijuana is ever expanding. It is mostly for medical use now, but mark my words it will be legalized within the next 25 years. Maybe this whole Diaz situation is a good thing. Maybe it can be used as a vehicle to differentiate what is and what is not a PED. While NSAC enforces the law, they don’t make the law. The courts do. I would love for this to be taken through the legal system and would be anxious to see what the result would be.

    Sorry about the rant, guys. Just had a lot to say on this one.

    • just a fan says:

      Great point Thurgood! I tried making that point and got called “sheeple’ and told to follow the herd off a cliff, which was pretty funny. Probably cuz I didn’t word it like you, but you are spot on. The courts make the law and that’s where it needs to happen. Diaz got busted for breaking a rule he knew was there. It’s a stupid rule for marijuana especially in MMA, but until things change there’s not much they can do but enforce what their bylaws state. And YES the day is coming (hopefully soon) when it will be legalized!

    • Philippe says:

      I agree with your point. Although I still feel Diaz could have prevented it as he is in a professional sport and no one should have to baby sit him. Regardless, marijuana has been way to controversial with no hard evidence of why it should be illegal, especially when we have cigarettes out there causing lung cancers (with scientific proof). Marijuana can alter state of mind but the duration of it is like Salvia, except it lasts just a little longer. Fact is that there is no evidence or experimental studies that it can increase or alter physical performance. Therefore, Diaz breaking the rule deserves the punishment but I hope his punishment is used by media as a outrage to change the rules in NSAC in terms of testing for marijuana. I’m not a fan of Diaz’s personality but am a fan of watching his fights win or lose and hopefully his punishment brings some change into NSAC.

      One thing you guys might want to notice is that no or not enough media is calling out the NSAC to change the rules. Too sensitive of a topic for journalists to take on and try to win this one. Just like DW said, you can’t win with the government.

    • Kronik says:

      The ONLY reason pot is illegal is because it is a naturally growing plant.. There is no possible way the Goverment can put a patent on it and make a profit because there are too many strains to cover, therefor they consider it illegal.. It’s all about the money, not the effects it has on people!

  14. Nathan says:

    Weed, steroids, cocain what ever it is it’s a drug, great advertisement for kids smoke weed it helps with mental focus hahaha if you no you have a fight coming up in 3 months stop until after the testing period

  15. Dan says:

    Best article I’ve read from you. Very honest! Let’s go Nick!!!!!!!! WAR DIAZ!!!!!!!!

  16. omg says:

    Marijuana can reduce pain which can lead to more endurance..So painkillers are also aloud in mma?I smoke weed too,but you got to look at what removing marijuana from drug tests would lead to.Also this could increase the risk of a fighter getting hurt like if it reduces the pain of a broken finger and they keep punching,or if you receive more strikes and you feel less pain which would increase injury, or if someone is putting you in a armbar and you reaction time is a few seconds slower and he breaks your arm before you tap.And to all the people who say marijuana reduces your endurance you should smoke,ride a bike, and come back after to tell me otherwise.

    • ye says:

      The only smart stoner here?

      • primalmasher says:

        not at all, some people are just that retarded. as for myself, i train and can do anything stoned better than sober. mostly because of my anxiety from a fucked up childhood, but it relaxes and makes me focus on any task in front of me. and he’s right about one thing, you have more pain tolerance after you toke because your mind goes “yeah im being hit, but i don’t give a fuck”

        • laurmichj says:

          I have to say, as a nurse in California, the only medical benefit smoking or eating marijuana has is pain control (try reading the actual published literature and independent studies rather than repeating the crap you hear on You tube and from your stoner buddies). With that said, a fighter who ingests marijuana prior to a fight does have an unfair advantage over his/her opponent. This is really the issue here. Do you want to step into the ring with someone who isn’t feeling the full effect of your punches or kicks? Let’s be fair and keep the playing field level for all competitors. Not to mention, a medical marijuana card in this state is extremely easy to obtain.

          BTW – it really doesn’t matter how you spell “organization” – the Brits still think they gave us a perfectly good language and we butchered it. LOL

    • Also says:

      You forgot about the how smoking weed can cause dehydration…Being dehydrated after the weight cut is even more risky.

    • K2 says:

      They can increase the accepted amount of THC in the blood/urine. I agree that fighters don’t need to go into the ring blazed but considering the test will pop you if you smoked 2 weeks before is BS. And there is a difference between chronic pain (no pun intened) and acute pain. A punch in the face is acute pain, and if you’ve smoked so much you can’t feel acute pain then you’ve fallen asleep.

  17. Nick says:

    I’m pretty sure Nick has a license for medical marijuana. So it’s pretty ridiculous if he does get anything. To be honest weed shouldn’t even be something they test for.

  18. omg says:

    +1 Agreed, why is marijuana even used as medicine?Mostly for people who can’t eat, people who are depressed, and to REDUCE PAIN.

  19. BJfan says:

    The bottom line is that a pot-smoking MMA fighter needs to make sure they’ll pass the test because the rules are the rules. Plain and simple. Lack of oversight on Nick’s part. Personally, I think a bigger issue is the Diaz’s lack of respect for opponents in the ring and for the sport in general. Fans give them a pass when they shake the opponents hand at the of a match. Taunting an opponent on the ring disrespects the opponent and throwing a hissy fit after a decision disrespects the sport. Koscheck has made a living as “the villain” without taunting his opponents in the ring.

  20. Berg says:

    Back in 1998 Canadian Olympic Gold medal winner, Ross Rebagliati, tested positive for weed use after winning the gold.

    “After winning the gold, he was found to have THC in his circulatory system and he was automatically disqualified. This decision was eventually overturned, largely on the basis that marijuana was not on the list of banned substances, and Rebagliati was given back the medal”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Rebagliati

    The Olympic committee takes this shit VERY seriously. And I remember at the time, the big question was, is weed a performance enhancing drug. They found it wasn’t, and he got to keep the medal. Unfortunately, the Nevada state sees it differently.

  21. zetoe says:

    I’m sure nick doesn’t give 2 shits about this suspension over the use of a flower, considering he said he was done with the bullshit that is the ufc and mma in general.

    • John Blaze says:

      funny how he finally doesn’t give a fuck anymore after he was owned. Yeah if I knew that I was garbage whilst being on top of the world and then was exposed, I would be done with the bullshit as well. PATHETIC!

  22. Phil says:

    Some of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners I know smoke weed regularly. Not to mention the numerous people I know who are very successful in their professional lives.

  23. magoo says:

    Who doesn’t know someone whos smoking the Gange? It aint no big deal,Ive never had a friend get belligerant while smoking pot,unlike alcohol that can turn you into an instant asshole pot aint like that! I smoke from time to time we got some real good chron out here in my part of the world,people need to chill this aint going away ever,but just cause you like to burn it don’t make you a bad person,in fact alot of my friends are very sucsessful and intelligent,not to mention layed back groovin motherfuckers!

    • J Dog says:

      These same friends get behind the wheels of cars and are not as alert as other drivers and CAN AND DO kill people. I lost a best friend to weed, it was his own damn fault he was high and driving and lost control of his car, luckily if you want to call it that he was the ONLY one killed or hurt, what if he had ran into your mother and she had died also? What if he had ran into a school building killing children? What then???? Weed I do feel is safer than beer and other such products but facts are facts weed can and does kill

  24. Paul says:

    Look I’m not against or for smoking weed. But as a “professional” fighter at the top of the game using any substance is unprofessional. And I don’t care what a person does on their off time, but during camp when your sponsor’s are paying you to train. You now entered the realm of responsibility that holds you to a higher standard than most. Any excuse on why a person can not do that clean and sober of any controlled substance is just that, an excuse.

  25. Fighters Union Local 420

  26. J Dog says:

    The thing everyone forgets is that it IS a drug and it SLOWS down reaction times. In the fight this does NOT give any advantage to the fighter smoking weed, however does this fighter drive a car to the fight, does he drive his car anywhere while high? Thousands of people have been killed in car crashes because one of the drivers were high on weed. Most of my friends smoke it and honestly I think it should be legalized, the tax money they could make, not to mention it is much safer in my opinion than the beer people drink and drive on. Should Diaz be cut for smoking weed, NO should he be fined and lose the year of pay this is up for debate, but if he drives his car when he is high there is NO debate and the answer is a resounding yes, at least in my books. Weed does harm people, usually those that are not taking it, or the driver who is high himself. Those that say weed is okay need to look at the big picture, it is not okay, BUT it IS better than beer in many peoples books and in mine

  27. alcohol kills more people than marijuana does….

  28. Zack says:

    I drive better when I’m high. I’m too focused. If I smoke before I mow the yard, the shit looks professionally done and I actually enjoy doing it. For me weed keeps me focused on the task at hand and not a McDonald’s cheese burger. Cigarrettes kill thousands every year yet they are advertised and endorsed. No one has ever died directly because of pot

  29. KJG says:

    JUST IN!!!!

    Nick Diaz v.s. Michael Phelps
    for the Interim Bong Olympics Championship

    a true test of whos lungs can hold the bigger rip !!!

    • dog chapman says:

      No ways bra no do that shit bra doing meth is the way no green all in the clear bra doing rex kwon do after chongin a fatty pudle is the way to b bra only ice in paradise bra yours truly dog the batu huntah

  30. E716 says:

    Love training high

    • dog chapman says:

      I agree wit u a hundred percent bra doing my wing chun tai chi and rex kwon do flying high on dope bra is heaven for me bra aloha the only guy who can run a blond mullet on tv andhas been dressing him self for 56 yrs urs truly dog chapman

  31. GET RID OF FITCH says:

    who gives a rats ass about a little weed. Athletic commisons care more about weed than ACTUAL CHEATING WITH STEROIDS that 95% of all mma is on including the biggest offender who can afford the most expensive of desighner sterpoids and HGH none other than GSP. At least Diaz is clean from steroids just like BJ Penn. I would pay anything to see someone ask GSP if they could have a sample of his blood to test for HGH he would prob cry and say his groin hurts

    • bruts says:

      they care so much because its an organization based OUT OF AMERICA, where in america you do more time for 1 oz of weed then KILLING SOMEONE…

      • dog chapman says:

        Wooo bra know ur laws only if u haved it bagged up for distrubution but bra u kill some one u go jail more long bra dat y weed smells do meth u can smoke it in the mcdonalds bathroom and not get busted bra tru story no lie bra aloha from dog the bounty huntah

  32. Andrew Escobar says:

    Weed is not a drug, in my opinion. I used to be anti-weed and I hated it. I even told my best friend I would not be his friend anymore if he continued. After I did research, and tried it, my opinion is changed. I wish it was legal, but it’s not. It’s a stupid law and rules, but you have to follow it. I haven’t had weed in over a year and a half. I wish I could, but I have responsibilities. Nick should realize it, too; or at least stop around fight time knowing they’re going to test. Oh, well. I had Diaz 48-47. Hope he comes back stronger. WAR DIAZ!

  33. Shawn says:

    Good article. Speaks truth. Nick is what Nick is. He miscalculated his routine of flushing out his system, plain and simple. But in a situation like this, he should have (and I believe most would have) erred in the side of caution. Taken more time to do what he does to eliminate the THC’s from him system. And as dumb as the rule is for weed, it’s still a rule. Until the commission decides it’s not needed, there is nothing we or the fighters can do about it. If we can’t remove the tiger from the kitchen, we better be following the rules so we don’t get our asses mauled, or stay out of the kitchen. Many systems can be played, you just have to be smart about it. Many fighters are, as many fighters I’m sure use some sort of PEDs. They are just smart enough not to get caught. Be smart, not stubborn.

  34. dog chapman says:

    Doing Meth and training rex kwon do bra

  35. Wiakikibigeyecru says:

    Eh bra. HOwz dis one. I rock da bowl and train in carbreakinjitsu and then I chew on the glass to make my mouth even mo fuk up. Ya bra dog bra

  36. keyboardkungfu says:

    I smoke and I trained for over 20 years, and IMO I think it’s much harder to fight while high… your reaction time is not as fast and you may be able to focus on simple things with more ease, but focusing on those simple things while still maintaining strategy and awareness of the “BIG” picture (IMHO) is much more difficult. I think that the only reason marijuana is included in the list of banned substances is due to ignorance and not based on medical facts.

  37. hi!,I love your writing so a lot! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I require a specialist in this space to unravel my problem. Maybe that is you! Taking a look forward to see you.

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