Why Are Athletes Punished So Harshly For Consuming Marijuana?

Author:
Updated:
Original:
nick diaz ufc marijuana

(image via ESPN)

Marijuana is currently legal in four states and Washington D.C.. It's my hope that by the end of the 2016 Election, there will be double digit states that have legalized marijuana. More and more Americans are expressing support for the end of marijuana prohibition. The times are changing, and people are finally getting on the right side of history. For some reason professional sports leagues and their governing bodies seem to be ignoring all of this, proven by the overly harsh penalties they impose on their athletes when they are found to have been consuming marijuana.

The NBA, NFL, MLB, and just about every other sport has cracked down on its athletes for marijuana. The latest, and arguably harshest, penalty was recently handed out to mixed martial arts fighter Nick Diaz. Per ESPN:

The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended UFC welterweight Nick Diaz for five years on Monday because of the third marijuana-related offense of his career.

The NSAC discussed a lifetime ban for Diaz, 32, before voting unanimously on five years.

NSAC commissioner Skip Avansino acknowledged during deliberations a five-year ban is essentially "a lifetime (ban) for (Diaz)."

Nick Diaz was understandably upset after the ruling was issued. I don't know about you, but if I got punched in the face for a living I think I should be allowed to consume all of the cannabis I wanted to. It is incredibly unfair that had Nick Diaz taken an enormous amount of prescription drugs and/or been an alcoholic, there would be no suspension whatsoever. So why is Mr. Diaz being punished so harshly for consuming a substance that is far safer?

Related