Nick Diaz Continues to Entertain MMA Fans in the Midst of Controversy

Jeremy Botter@jeremybotterMMA Senior WriterMarch 15, 2012

Things are never boring when Nick Diaz is involved.

A few days ago, I shared the news that Diaz would be fighting his drug test failure suspension in Nevada. He hired high-powered Vegas attorney Ross Goodman, and Goodman argued that Diaz didn't test positive for a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Which is technically true, if you're going by the letter of the law. Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites and not actual marijuana itself. 

It's a good argument, but Diaz may still find himself suspended even if the drug suspension is lifted. 

As you know, Diaz is licensed to smoke medicinal marijuana in the state of California. He has a prescription. And yet, on his pre-fight questionnaire from the Nevada commission, Diaz said he had not used any prescription drugs in the two weeks prior to the fight. 

NSAC public information officer Jennifer M. Lopez—no, not that Jennifer Lopez, though it would be awesome if it were—released a statement saying that Diaz lied on his questionnaire:

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.

Calling his client a liar sent Goodman into attack mode today. Goodman insists that Diaz didn't lie about using prescription drugs because Nevada doesn't view marijuana as a prescription drug. Here's the regulation regarding the drug from Chapter 453A.210 of the Nevada Revised Statues

(1) The person has been diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition;
(2) The medical use of marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of that condition; and
(3) The attending physician has explained the possible risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana;
(b) The name, address, telephone number, social security number and date of birth of the person;
(c) Proof satisfactory to the Division that the person is a resident of this State;
(d) The name, address and telephone number of the person's attending physician; and
(e) If the person elects to designate a primary caregiver at the time of application:
(1) The name, address, telephone number and social security number of the designated primary caregiver; and
(2) A written, signed statement from the person's attending physician in which the attending physician approves of the designation of the primary caregiver.

Goodman spoke to Yahoo Sports on Thursday, saying that no normal person views marijuana as an actual prescription drug, and thus, there was no need for Diaz to check the box. 

"Nowhere in there does it say that the attending physician is prescribing marijuana," Goodman said. "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."

I have no idea if Diaz will win his appeal. If you go by the letter of the law, then he did not fail a test for marijuana, and thus, cannot be suspended. Marijuana is banned in competition, and if Diaz were smoking during competition, he would've tested positive for THC. That didn't happen because Diaz stopped smoking eight days prior to the event.

But if you think that feels like semantics, well, it's probably because it is. 

Goodman is very good at getting his clients off in cases such as this one. Whether or not he can do the same thing for Diaz remains to be seen. 

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