MMA fighter Elias Theodorou fights to reform cannabis policies in professional sports

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When MMA fighter Elias Theodorou steps into the cage on Saturday, he isn’t just looking to fight his opponent, Bryan Baker — he’s also fighting for medical cannabis rights.Although this fight will mark Theodorou’s second professional fight with a therapeutic use exemption for medical cannabis, it will be his first fight since gaining an exemption from a state athletic commission inside the United States.

The fight, hosted and promoted by the Colorado Combat Club, comes after Theodorou — whose pro record is 18 wins, 3 losses — received the exemption from the Colorado Combative Sports Commission in May.

Since cannabis rules vary by state and by different sports governing organizations — such as state athletic commissions, the UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) — athletes seeking a medical exemption for it face many challenges.

Theodorou was diagnosed with bilateral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. He uses cannabis to mitigate the “pain and discomfort” he feels regularly. But he says the UFC denied him an exemption during his time as a fighter with them. []

Source: MMA fighter Elias Theodorou fights to reform cannabis policies in professional sports – CBS News

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