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MMA Fighter's Medical Marijuana Leads to Trouble With California Athletic Commission

Nick Diaz is a mixed martial arts fighter who was scheduled to fight in Saturday night's EliteXC event in San Jose, California.

But the California State Athletic Commission has refused to license him for the fight. And the reason, according to EliteXC President Gary Shaw, is that Diaz has a prescription for medical marijuana. His manager Cesar Gracie says Diaz uses marijuana to combat attention deficit disorder:

"Nick is a naturalist by heart," said Gracie. "He thinks Ritalin is an amphetamine. He thinks that's really bad for you. People with ADD are kind of hyper, so he has trouble sleeping. He got the medical marijuana card and he takes his pot to go to sleep and be more focused. It's completely legal in California. Voters voted it in. The commission is actually supposed to obey that, so this will probably open up a legal case. If it was something small, OK, f---- it, whatever. But if they're not even going to allow him to test clean, that doesn't make sense. That's overstepping their boundaries."
But the Commission says that no matter what state law is on medical marijuana, it has its own rules, and that Diaz is in violation of those rules. Diaz, who last year was fined $3,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a positive marijuana test, will be out the $50,000 purse he would have earned for Saturday night's fight. He is expected to fight next in Hawaii in June.

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