After dropping a controversial unanimous decision to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 last month, it was revealed that Diaz had tested positive for marijuana by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Diaz sought to combat the charge by the NSAC, hiring renowned Las Vegas attorney Ross Goodman and countering that his drug screen only showed the presence of marijuana metabolites and not marijuana’s active component, Delta-9-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Meaning that Diaz was not on the drug during competition, but had used it prior per the guidelines of his medicinal marijuana license, which he’s been granted in the state of California.
When reached for comment on Diaz’s planned defense by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, the Nevada attorney general’s office offered the following:
“Not only did Nick Diaz violate the law by testing positive for marijuana metabolites, but he also lied to the Commission on his Pre-Fight Questionnaire when he swore that he had not used any prescribed medications in two weeks before the fight.”
Considering the inflammatory (at least, for an official statement by an attorney general’s office on a legal matter) language, Goodman fired back quickly. Goodman cited Nevada’s laws for medicinal marijuana, which don’t recognize the substance as a prescription drug and thereby reveal Diaz’s truthfulness in checking ‘No’ on that section.
“Nowhere in there does it say that the attending physician is prescribing marijuana,” Goodman said after providing Iole with a copy of Chapter 453A.210 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, which lays out the guidelines for registering as a medicinal marijuana patient. “And so, for obvious reasons, before you speak and call someone a liar, you think you’d do a little bit of due diligence and understand what the Nevada law actually says.
“It’s not like you walk into the pharmacy and start looking around on the shelves and hope to pick up a bag of marijuana. That’s ridiculous. No reasonable person would believe that medical marijuana falls under the category of over the counter medications.”
It’s clear that Diaz’s hearing — which has still not been scheduled — is not likely to be a tame one.