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Thursday, 03/06/2014, 11:24 am

World-Renowned Doctor Changes Stance On Marijuana Use For Athletes

Dr. Sanjay Gupta isn’t afraid to admit he was wrong.

Now, he hopes the Federal Government can do the same.

Gupta, the man behind the CNN specials that have taken an in-depth look at the use of marijuana, has discovered some new information that he wants to bring to light.

It appears as if the United States currently holds a patent for medical marijuana, or Cannabinoids, that are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants. In simple terms, that means limiting damage to the brain and helping reduce stroke or trauma.

What Gupta wants answered is if commissions ban the use of medical marijuana, are they doing more harm than good for the athletes? While Gupta’s feature on CNN is based around the NFL and Super Bowl head coach Pete Carroll, this is a very real issue in MMA.

Several fighters, including the likes of Nick Diaz and Matthew Riddle to name a few, have had run-ins with commissions when it comes to failing post-fight drug tests because of cannabis being found in their systems. Both have medical reasons for using the drug, and tried to explain just that.

However, as it currently stands, the commissions have the right to fine and suspend fighters for these failed test.

But what if it’s a federal law that they can use? Now what?

Unlike the recent TRT ban, we could really be headed down a two-way street if this comes to fruition.

Obtaining medical marijuana is not an easy process, and getting approved for a card takes time. However, if fighters were allowed to use it, don’t you think more and more would find “creative” ways to get the card just to avoid any future suspension or fine?

That’s my biggest concern over this matter.

If you feel marijuana should be an approved drug, that’s fine. The thing is, though, it isn’t. That’s pretty plain and simple, no matter which side of the fence you rest on.

Using it for a medical purpose – a legit one – I am 100-percent good with. I just worry we’ll see more and more take that path.

Again, this isn’t TRT and it likely isn’t creating such an uneven playing field, as the idea of seeing a fighter enter the Octagon or cage completely out of his mind should never happen with competent officials on hand.

But what if it does?

What if “Fighter A” gains a medical marijuana card, works his way through the system to secure more than he needs and walks to the cage without a care in the world?

Maybe that fighter is able to focus on the task at hand, but what if he gets himself seriously injured? What if “Fighter B” just blitzes him and we are left with a tragedy on our hands?

These are all precautions and thoughts that need to be fully understood before anything gets written into law.

Gupta appears to feel the same way, as he wants more knowledge on everything involved with the plant, including medically, before he makes a decision.

By Dana Becker | Twitter

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