Nevada Commission Says Nick Diaz Could Have Applied For Exemption To Use Marijuana
Whether or not he would have been granted the therapeutic use exemption is another story entirely, but the Athletic Commission in Nevada does have the protocol in place to where Nick Diaz could have applied and may have been granted permission for use of his “treatment” prior to his bout with Carlos Condit.
Let’s be real here for a second. Nick Diaz is a polarizing figure. Not only that, but he seems to have some sort of social disorder as well that is a big part of his appeal. Not a knock at him at all, but in the presence of the public and media it always seems just a tad bit awkward.
The argument here is that through use of medical marijuana, (A perfectly accepted course of treatment in the state of California where Nick Diaz lives in accordance with California PROP 215 and SB 420) Nick may be able to cope with whatever disorder he has in a better manner.
Too little too late though. According to a report from cagepotato.com, who talked to Commissioner Keith Kizer, the opportunity for Nick to apply for such an exemption would have been prior to the bout and not after the fact. Meaning, there is no easy way out for the charges he has pending against him.
Here are some clips from that original report:
According to Kizer, though, Diaz had another option: coming to the NSAC weeks before fighting and applying for a therapeutic exemption (TUE) for his marijuana use.
Given that Diaz’ coach and manager, Cesar Gracie, has made a point of saying that Diaz has a legal right to use marijuana in California since a doctor prescribed it to him, one would have expected Diaz to have applied for the exemption with the commission.
But that did not happen Kizer explains, as no one from Diaz’ camp has ever attempted to explain any mitigating circumstances to him about the fighter’s marijuana use or tried to contextualize it to attempt for Nick to granted a therapeutic exemption. “I have no idea what [Diaz’s] marijuana situation is,” Kizer told CagePotato on Thursday. “No one from his camp has ever come to me or the commission and tried to explain it.”
Kizer says that therapeutic exemptions are made when fighters and their doctors can convince the NSAC and its physicians that a prescribed treatment is specifically needed to address a legitimate health issue of the athlete and that the medication does not put the fighter at undue risk as a competitor or give them an unfair advantage over their opponents. Sometimes, as in the case of some antidepressants, the NSAC and its doctors feel that a fighter’s condition is legitimate and that they do require treatment, but alternative medications are needed because the one initially chosen by the fighter and their doctors are deemed not safe for competitors to use by the Nevada commission.
Kizer also points out that each case is looked at individually and that if fighters approach the commission a few weeks before their fights to request a therapeutic exemption, typically that is enough time for the NSAC evaluation process to take place and for his governing body to make a decision on whether or not to grant the fighter the exception.
In the past fighters have applied for exemptions for the use of testosterone replacement therapy and more traditional prescription drugs for psychological issues, but Kizer said that no one during his tenure has ever applied for a therapeutic exemption for prescribed marijuana use. This includes Diaz.
“I’ve never had that – a fighter saying they want to use marijuana for medicinal purposes,” he said.
Although he says that he can imagine certain drugs never being accepted for therapeutic use in Nevada, like the anabolic steroid nandrolone, Kizer stops short of saying that medical marijuana would be one of them.
*Correction made at 1:23 pm ET on 02/17/2011: Mr. Kizer contacted CagePotato.com to clarify that although a fighter can argue that he or she should be granted an exemption for a banned substance and that their fine and suspension be reduced due to mitigating factors that necessitated the use of the prescribed drugs, NSAC will not retroactively grant a TUE for a substance that was not approved prior to the bout in question.