From Dave Meltzer in today's F4WOnline.com update:
Frank Shamrock, Mauro Ranallo, Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields will appear on 6/26 at the Grand Opening of the MedMar Healing Center in San Jose, which is a community based Cannabis and alternative health care facility in the city. Shamrock said he supports cannibas to relieve pain after seeing his stepfather pass away slowly from lung cancer and be in so much pain, and feeling helpless to do anything.
While we've all heard athletes and other celebrities speak out in favor of both medical marijuana and general legalization of the drug, I don't think I've ever seen any of them do anything quite like this. While medical marijuana is a separate issue from straight-up legalization and abuse, it still seems strange to see Strike Force's announcers and two of its champions making this appearance. This is especially so given how many MMA fighters have failed drug tests in California, to the point where it's been a running joke at times.
It's far from the most politically sound thing for Strikeforce to be associated with, as in spite of what California says, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. I doubt that Dana White has a problem with Joe Rogan being vocally in favor of the legalization of the drug, but do you think he'd allow him, Mike Goldberg, Shogun, and Frankie Edgar to make an appearance at a place that sold the stuff? I don't think so, and regardless of one's political views on the matter, I don't think it's wise for Scott Coker to let this happen.
Shamrock had previously spoken about marijuana in an interview with Cage Potato as part of the media blitz for his fight with Nick Diaz last year:
This week a story came out in the L.A. Times where Nick explained that he smokes weed leading up to every bout, and he explained how he avoids detection. What do you think of an opponent of yours basically saying he’s going to fight you with banned substances in his system?
(Laughs) Well, I certainly don’t agree with it. I guess if he passes the test, those are the rules. But I certainly don’t agree with his lifestyle and his marketing of that lifestyle as a part of mixed martial arts, because I don’t think that’s a part of the sport. I think he’s somewhat of a freak in that way.
Well, marijuana isn’t performance-enhancing, is it?
I don’t know, maybe for some people it is. It’s obviously something he believes in. I don’t think he’s Rastafarian or anything, so it’s not like it’s a religious thing. I think it’s like medication for him. Maybe it calms his mind. Maybe he’s got a frayed mind.
He doesn’t seem very calm most of the time. At the press conference you tried to shake his hand and you gave you the middle finger in the face.
I think a lot of that is a gimmick. I think he’s a good kid. I think he just doesn’t know how to express himself, and I also think he’s incredibly nervous opposite somebody as polished and experienced as I am. Like a little kid, you know, you yell and scream and throw a fit and it covers up what’s really going on. I’ve always known him to be polite and personable and respectful to me. I’ve always enjoyed his company, to be honest with you. But this fight has changed the way we interact, definitely.
I think he’s just scared. I think he’s scared and nervous and doesn’t know what to do. I mean, I don’t know him that well. He’s never been to my house for dinner or anything. But I have nothing against him personally. His gimmick, his marketing, aside from his obsession with marijuana, I think the rest of it has been very good. I need somebody opposite of me to help sell a fight. I like having somebody with that animosity across from me.