The Florida State Boxing Commission announced this week that marijuana will be removed from the banned list for MMA fighters and boxers.
ESPN.com’s Marc Raimondi first reported the change on Tuesday as Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokesperson Patrick Fargason officially confirmed that the state will no longer test MMA fighters and boxers for marijuana. Previously under this commission, any trace amount of marijuana in a fighter’s system would amount to a fine, suspension, and overruling of a win to a No Contest. Now, weed will not be tested for.
“We’re not testing for it. We’re not doing anything with it — period,” Fargason said.
Florida becomes the latest athletic commission to drop marijuana off of its prohibited lists. The once-outlawed drug has become legalized in many places around the world, including in several states in the United States. As governments and athletic commissions become more progressive, it seems that more of them are taking marijuana off their banned lists.
“While we want to continue to prevent athletes from competing under the influence of marijuana, we have learned that blood and/or urine levels of carboxy-THC have little-to-no scientific correlation to impairment,” UFC senior vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said in a statement. “THC is fat soluble, meaning that once ingested, it is stored in fatty tissues and organs in the body and can be released back into the blood or urine, sometimes long after ingestion.
“The bottom line is that in regards to marijuana, we care about what an athlete consumed the day of a fight, not days or weeks before a fight, which has often been the case in our historic positive THC cases.”
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