Nevada State Athletic Commission Eases Up on Marijuana Use
Last week, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) reported that it was changing its marijuana policies after mounting pressure from MPP, athletes, and promoters who said the strictness and penalties were far too severe and driving athletes to drink or use dangerous drugs.
According to Bleacher Report, the threshold for failing a marijuana test for athletes was raised from 50 ng/mL of THC in the bloodstream to 150 ng/mL, in line with what the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recommended for global athletic regulatory bodies.
MPP protested the previous policies with a billboard and petition to the NSAC in March after boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. was suspended and fined $900,000 for testing positive for marijuana metabolites. In May, WADA recommended raising the limit to 150 ng/mL to exclude prior marijuana use that could not possibly contribute to current impairment. The very next month, Marc Ratner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced that it was putting its self-regulatory policies in line with the WADA recommendations.
While it will still be possible to test positive under the new threshold, it will be very difficult for prior marijuana use to disqualify or punish fighters and other athletes. When Nevada makes marijuana legal in 2016, they will truly be able to make the safer choice of substances without fear of unnecessary penalties.
MPP is also pressuring other sports organizations, such as the NFL, to stop punishing players for using marijuana.