UFC heavyweight Chris Barnett has been suspended for marijuana usage by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Unfortunately, the suspension happened after the commission changed its policy to punish athletes for marijuana usage.
Chris Barnett Suspended for Marijuana Usage
More than likely, Barnett will be one of the last fighters to be affected by the outdated policy. However, his punishment for the offense was before the NSAC changed their policy, as reported by MMA Fighting.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 22, 2021
“Barnett (21-7) was handed a 4.5-month suspension by a unanimous vote at Wednesday’s Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) meeting and ordered to pay a fine and prosecution fees that amounted to $1,036.80 as a result of a positive drug test for marijuana stemming from his UFC debut against Ben Rothwell on May 22.”
“Barnett’s suspension is retroactive and scheduled to terminate on Oct. 6,” wrote the publication.
As constraints on cannabis continue to decline, its usage is only increasing among mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. According to a poll conducted by The Athletic that surveyed 170 fighters, nearly half — or 49.5 percent — revealed they use marijuana for rehabilitation or recreational purposes. In addition, 4.6 percent used marijuana in the past but don’t anymore, while 76.5 percent of fighters also revealed they had used cannabidiol (CBD). However, there were still marijuana guidelines that fighters must follow.
As far as the UFC drug test policy goes, fighters are only punished for usage in competition. Furthermore, within the window under the WADA Code. Moreover, the UFC does not ban recreational drug usage while is a fighter is out of competition.
Scientifically, marijuana has no performance-enhancing benefits when it comes to actual fighting. In the United States, there are currently 29 states who have finally legalized medical marijuana use. Furthermore, the distribution of the plant to medical dispensaries around the nation.
Thankfully, the NAC is now more lenient than ever when it comes to marijuana.