Alright, the news of the respective suspensions for Matt Every and Robert Garrigus is a few news cycles old. That fact, however, will not stop me from sharing my opinion on the topic.
In case you were unaware, the aforementioned golfers from the PGA TOUR (Robert Garrigus and Matt Every) both received 12-week suspensions for violating the TOUR’s drug policy or shall I say it’s policy on “drugs of abuse”. While the policy is in place and the golfers breached the policy I really feel that the suspension or the reason for such is a bit antiquated and perhaps a little misguided.
Before continuing, I’m going to share the “Cole’s Notes” version on THC and CBD. When we talk about Cannabis, THC is the “chemical” that essentially makes you feel high and might produce the “munchies”. Yes, it is effective in taking away pain. I’m not going to lie. On the odd occasion, I have partaken in using the “Devil’s Lettuce” since it became legal to us in Canada. It has given me 12 hours of pain-free living when I have used it and I can’t tell you how great it is when I have that kind of “freedom”. While the THC gives you the high, CBD, on the other hand, helps with pain and inflammation like THC does except that you don’t get high from it.
Both players had their medical marijuana prescriptions given to them in states where they reside and where medical marijuana is legal. Where Garrigus uses it for pain, Every uses it to help with mental health. Marijuana is a proven clinical treatment for treating depression and anxiety. Quite honestly, if Every, Garrigus or any other player on the PGA TOUR wants to use it I simply don’t blame them. Heck, the game is hard on the body.
If you haven’t been to the PGA Show you need to know that there is one niche industry on the rise there amongst exhibitors on the show floor. That industry is CBD. Not long ago there were none. In 2019, that was hardly the case at all. The reality is that CBD (at least) is here to stay. Ask companies like Medterra, Panacea, and HempMe to name a few. They’ll tell you.
In a statement, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan released the following statement.
“Ultimately, we don’t determine what is a banned substance and what’s not, we rely on WADA for doing that,” Monahan said. “We’ll continue to stay very close not only to that substance but any potential substance that would come on or come off the list.” – Jay Monahan PGA TOUR Commissioner
In 2017-18 the PGA TOUR revamped it’s drug/anti-doping policy. However what hasn’t truly come out is how many players in the upper echelon have tested positive. Mr. Monahan, if you’re going to single out Matt Every and Robert Garrigus you might really want to look closer at some “A-Listers”. Who remembers this scene from the 2019 Masters Tournament? If this wasn’t a CBD tincture that Phil Mickelson was using then I don’t know what is. He even looked sketchy. Was he tested and if so did he miraculously test negative? Or was he tested and after testing positive it was simply swept under the rug? It could very well be a case of all players not being treated equally on the PGA TOUR.
While Monahan could be applauded for disciplining the players in question I think there are more serious infractions that could be viewed as detrimental to the game that needs to be addressed. The pace of play and malicious intent in damaging golf courses to name two.
However, getting back to the topic at hand, it might also be time for the policy to be both revisited and possibly revised. As I stated, medical marijuana is being legalized and more acceptable in society. I admit that I was once a prude and dead set against it. If you’re a believer in how things trend (think like stocks) you can believe that more and more player’s on TOUR are going to be turning towards CBD and medical marijuana. It’s inevitable. If it’s legalized and prescribed by a doctor then I say “go for it”. But who am I?
At the end of the day, if player’s like Every and Garrigus can be suspended than Mr. Monahan better make damn sure that all players are treated equally. Imagine if it was Tiger. Would he be suspended? Would it even make the news?
Until The Next Tee!!