Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou, MMA fighter and medical cannabis advocate, has just become the first pro athlete to score a medical exemption for the use of medical cannabis in professional sport in the United States. This comes just one year after the Canadian-based athlete secured the same achievement in Canada in 2020. The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) was recently granted in the State of Colorado—the result of years of advocacy and perseverance.
After being granted a TUE in Canada in 2020, Elias, who amassed an impressive 8-3 record during his time in the UFC, competed and won as a ‘cannabis athlete’ in March 2021 at the Rise Fighting Championship 6 against Matt Dwyer. He was able to medicate with cannabis for bilateral neuropathy leading up to his fight—attaining a dominant victory in conjunction with his federally-approved and doctor-prescribed medication.
“Professional sports cause a lot of challenges like injury and pain. Opioids are readily available and often encouraged to help with pain issues. As someone who has bilateral neuropathy, but not interested in consuming opioids, it is important to continuously advocate for the medicinal benefits of cannabis and our right as athletes to be able to utilize it,” details Theodorou.
“If that means me securing my TUE state by state, country by country, then I will; I will do whatever it takes to fight the stigma, and advocate for all individuals,” he defiantly ends.
Elias has transcended the stereotypes of a fighter by employing his advertising degree and corporate experience in the development, creation, and production of personal and corporate brands, including The Mane Event™, The Ring Boy™ and Weedbae™ When Elias is not busy training or competing, he’s working on several films and various TV projects. He is committed to using his growing platform to expand his reach beyond MMA and to fight for the acceptance of medical cannabis in professional sports.
Erik Magraken, Elias’ Legal Counsel, Managing Partner of MacIsaac & Company and combat sports regulator lawyer, explains: “This is a precedent that Elias is rightfully proud of. He has been fighting the stigma of cannabis in sport and cannabis as medicine for years and getting the first US Athletic Commission to recognize his medical rights in granting a TUE is a huge leap forward that can assist many other athletes.”
Allowing pros to use medical weed is a no-brainer. We’re glad that it’s finally starting to happen. Let us know in the comments below who you think will be the next pro to secure the ability to medicate with weed?
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