nfl football marijuana cannabis

NFL Endorses Federal Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Players from the National Football League (NFL) have been leading a call for criminal justice reform in America. The protests and calls for reform have been widely publicized, and don’t appear to be ending any time soon. A national conversation has been underway as a result, and the conversation can be quite intense at times. However, it does appear to be having an effect on the NFL. Yesterday the NFL endorsed a federal criminal justice reform bill, which is a significant development in the overall conversation, and a fairly unprecedented move. Per The Washington Post:

The NFL’s spokesman said on Monday that the league has decided to endorse a bipartisan bill to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenders, eliminate “three-strike” provisions that require life sentences and give judges more latitude to reduce sentences for certain low-level crimes.

“We felt that this was an issue over the last months, as we have continued to work with our players on issues of equality and on issues of criminal justice reform, that was surfaced for us, and we thought it was appropriate to lend our support to it,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said Monday during a conference call with reporters.

The Uncle Cliffy team commends the NFL on its endorsement. Criminal justice reform is definitely needed in this country, and it’s something that our team definitely supports. But, the Uncle Cliffy team feels that the endorsement does not go far enough, and is somewhat hypocritical given the NFL’s current cannabis policy. The NFL prohibits cannabis consumption by players, with zero exceptions. Any player who is caught with THC metabolites in their system above a threshold of 35 ng/mL is severely punished. Players like Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson have had to endure long suspensions for failing drug tests as a result of cannabis use.

To make matters even worse, the NFL perpetuates institutional racism by penalizing players who are caught with cannabis away from their teams. In America, African Americans are almost 4 times as likely to be arrested for cannabis compared to Caucasians, despite usage rates being relatively the same among the two races. Some areas of America have even greater racial arrest disparities, with parts of Missouri experiencing cannabis arrest rates for African Americans at 18 times the rate of Caucasians. If an African American NFL player is 18 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis off the field, and the NFL penalizes players for cannabis arrests, an African American player is therefore 18 times as likely to be penalized by the NFL for cannabis compared to Caucasian NFL players. That perpetuation of institutional racism is unacceptable.

If the NFL truly supports criminal justice reform it should start by updating its own cannabis policy to ensure that its minority players are no longer disproportionately impacted by the league’s cannabis prohibition policy. Anything short of that and the NFL’s endorsement of the federal bill is hypocritical and insincere. The NFL needs to have compassion for its players, and allow them to use a plant that has been found to be 114 times safer than alcohol. Free the plant!

seantrel henderson marijuana cannabis

Welcome Back Buffalo Bills Offensive Tackle Seantrel Henderson!

Seantrel Henderson is an offensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). The NFL suspended Seantrel for 10 games during Week 12 of last season due to a failed drug test. Seantrel Henderson was using medical cannabis to treat pain related to Crohn’s disease and  two intestinal surgeries, and as a result, tested positive for THC metabolites. The NFL cannabis testing threshold is 35 ng/mL, which is over four times as stringent as the standard that Olympic athletes are held to (150 ng/mL).

Pharmaceutical painkillers are not an option for Mr. Henderson because of his multiple intestinal surgeries. Cannabis seems to be the only thing that works. Yet, despite the clear medical need for consuming cannabis, Seantrel Henderson was suspended for 10 games. The NFL’s drug testing policy provides for zero exceptions for cannabis use, even when the use occurs in a state where it’s legal, and even when the player has been recommended cannabis by a medical doctor. Seantrel previously served a four game suspension for the same reason (cannabis use).

Fortunately for Seantrel Henderson, he has been reinstated by the Buffalo Bills after having served his suspension, effective earlier today. Per Buffalo Rumblings:

The Buffalo Billshave activated offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson, who was eligible to return to the Bills today having now completed his 10-game suspension that dates back to last season. The Bills had a deadline of 4 p.m. Eastern to make the decision regarding Henderson.

According to the previously cited Buffalo Rumblings article, Henderson stated that he hasn’t had any issues with Crohn’s disease’s recently, which is a great thing. However, it begs the question, ‘what happens if/when Henderson experiences pain from his disease?’ Seantrel Henderson will be faced with the choice of consuming cannabis for relief and then face likely disciplinary action, or go without his medicine and (needlessly) endure significant pain, or step away from the job and sport that he obviously loves. All of those options are unacceptable.

Regardless if Seantrel’s condition flares up or not, what is happening to him is inhumane. No one should be required to go without a proven medicine, especially when the motivation preventing the medicine’s use is based on political beliefs, not science. The NFL’s cannabis policy is harmful. Seantrel Henderson’s case is an unfortunate example of that. Cannabis is 114 times safer than alcohol, yet players are prohibited from using cannabis while the NFL simultaneously embraces alcohol. That is extremely hypocritical. The NFL needs to have some compassion for its players and fix its failed, harmful cannabis policy.

The Uncle Cliffy team, which is comprised of some of the biggest Buffalo Bills fans on this planet, wants to congratulate Seantrel Henderson on getting back on the field. Clearly he never should have been taken off the field in the first place. Hopefully he can put this matter behind him as much as possible, which will be difficult given his medical need for cannabis. The Uncle Cliffy team will continue to call on the NFL to end cannabis prohibition and let players make the safer choice until all players like Seantrel Henderson can consume cannabis without repercussions. Good luck Seantrel, go Bills!

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earl blumenauer cannabis marijuana

Congressman Testifies In Support Of Cannabis As An Alternative To Opioids

It is estimated that Americans consume roughly 80% of the world’s opioids, despite America making up only 5% of the world’s population. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that over 30,000 Americans die from an opioid overdose every year. The problem is even worse among professional athletes. Retired NFL players consume opioids at four times the rate of other Americans. It’s a serious problem that needs to be properly addressed both inside and outside of the professional sports world, and Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer thinks that cannabis can help.

United States Representative Earl Blumenauer is Cliff Robinson’s Representative. Congressman Blumenauer has been a champion of cannabis reform in the political world for a very long time, having led the effort in Oregon’s Legislature in 1973 to push for cannabis decriminalization. The successful effort made Oregon the first state in the nation to decriminalize cannabis.

Congressman Blumenauer has either sponsored, co-sponsored, or strongly supported every pro-cannabis reform measure that has been introduced in Congress since he became a United States Representative in 1996. Congressman Blumenauer recently testified in support of medical cannabis as a safer alternative to opioids in front of the Energy and Commerce Committee, video footage of which can be found below:

Congressman Bluemenauer’s passionate testimony is important for reform efforts aimed at changing cannabis policies in professional sports. Federal prohibition is often cited as a reason to keep cannabis prohibition in place in professional sports, so any movement in Congress is going to help build momentum for cannabis reform in the sports world. The Uncle Cliffy team fully supports Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s efforts to reform federal cannabis laws, especially efforts geared towards promoting cannabis as a safer alternative to harmful opioids. A number of studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce opioid use. Below are a number of them, as found on our sports cannabis studies page:

“The treatment of chronic pain with medicinal cannabis in this open-label, prospective cohort resulted in improved pain and functional outcomes, and a significant reduction in opioid use.” – Haroutounian S, Ratz Y, Ginosar Y, Furmanov K, Saifi F, Meidan R, Davidson E. (2016)

“Among respondents that regularly used opioids, over three-quarters (76.7%) indicated that they reduced their use since they started medical cannabis.” – Piper BJ1,2,3, DeKeuster RM4,5, Beals ML6, Cobb CM4,7, Burchman CA8,9, Perkinson L10, Lynn ST10, Nichols SD11, Abess AT12 (2017)

“Among study participants, medical cannabis use was associated with a 64% decrease in opioid use (n = 118), decreased number and side effects of medications, and an improved quality of life (45%). This study suggests that many CP patients are essentially substituting medical cannabis for opioids and other medications for CP treatment, and finding the benefit and side effect profile of cannabis to be greater than these other classes of medications.” – Boehnke KF, Litinas E, Clauw DJ. (2016)

“All prescriptions for scheduled medications must be reported to the New Mexico Prescription Monitoring Program with opiates and benzodiazepines being the two most common. Based on these prescription records, patients enrolled in the medical cannabis program reduced the monthly average number of prescriptions, types of prescriptions (drug classes), number of prescribers, and number of related pharmacy visits. 71% of medical cannabis program enrollees either ceased or reduced their use of scheduled prescriptions within 6 months of enrolling.” – Stith, S. S., et al (2017)

“The growing body of research supporting the medical use of cannabis as an adjunct or substitute for opioids creates an evidence-based rationale for governments, health care providers, and academic researchers to consider the implementation and assessment of cannabis-based interventions in the opioid crisis.” – Philippe Lucas (2017)

“The majority of patients in this study believed that medical marijuana is a valid treatment and that it does have a role in reducing post-injury and post-operative pain. Those patients who used marijuana during their recovery felt that it alleviated symptoms of pain and reduced their opioid intake.” – Heng, Marilyn MD, MPH, FRCSC; McTague, Michael F. MPH; Lucas, Robert C. BA; Harris, Mitchel B. MD; Vrahas, Mark S. MD; Weaver, Michael J. MD (2017)

uconn university of connecticut cannabis marijuana

UConn Is Facing Drastic Budget Cuts And Cannabis Legalization Can Help

Cliff Robinson played basketball at the University of Connecticut (UConn) from 1985-1989, and led the UConn Huskies to a NIT Championship in 1988. Cliff was named to the NIT All-Tournament team that year and was later selected to UConn’s ‘All-Century Men’s Basketball team.’ Robinson’s college number (’00’) was retired at Gampel Pavilion in 2007. Cliff Robinson is proud to be a Husky, and will always have a special place in his heart for the University of Connecticut.

The University of Connecticut is facing drastic proposed budget cuts over the next two years – $150 million dollars a year to be exact. A budget hit like that would have a harmful impact on UConn and its students, and therefore it should be avoided if at all possible. Creating tax revenue out of thin air is not an easy task, but it is not impossible, at least not for the state of Connecticut.

Connecticut is one of a number of states looking into updating its harmful cannabis laws. To date eight states have legalized cannabis for adult use. Washington D.C. has also implemented a cannabis legalization law. Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy wherever it exists, and Connecticut’s current prohibition law is no exception. Cannabis legalization is beneficial in many ways, which is being proven every day in states that have ended cannabis prohibition for adult use. Cannabis legalization creates jobs, it saves money by not requiring law enforcement to enforce prohibition, it helps reduce the impact of institutional racism that goes along with cannabis prohibition, and it generates much needed tax revenues. Legalization in Connecticut has so much tax revenue potential that it could help UConn fix its budget woes.

The push for legalization in Connecticut is being led by Regulate Connecticut, which is an organization that Cliff Robinson is a proud member of. Regulate Connecticut has been working with lawmakers in Connecticut to include cannabis legalization in the state’s next budget. In May, both House and Senate Democrats released a budget proposal in Connecticut that included the regulating and taxing of cannabis. Unfortunately, subsequent House Democratic budgets omitted legalization.

Those subsequent budget proposals failed. As it stands right now, Connecticut does not have a budget, and negotiations are at a standstill. That means that there’s still a chance that cannabis legalization could be included in Connecticut’s next budget. According to Regulate Connecticut, legalization would generate an estimated $180 million dollars a year. Cannabis tax revenues in some legal states have exceeded initial tax revenue projections, so the estimate cited by Regulate Connecticut could actually prove to be lower than what may occur if/when Connecticut legalizes.

$180 million dollars in annual cannabis tax revenue is obviously more than enough to cover UConn’s current budget shortfall. Cannabis legalization in Connecticut could also generate more than 19,000 jobs, many of which could be filled by UConn graduates. With 63% of Connecticut voters supporting such a policy change, lawmakers need to step up and get Connecticut on the right side of history.

If you live in Connecticut, contact your legislators and let them know that you support cannabis legalization and that it should be included in Connecticut’s next budget. Also, consider getting involved with Regulate Connecticut and/or supporting their effort with a financial contribution. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out Regulate Connecticut on Facebook and Twitter, and tell others to do the same. Do your part and help free the plant!

locker room

Debunking Myths That Sports Leagues Use To Justify Cannabis Prohibition

A number of sports leagues and organizations prohibit cannabis use by athletes, and have for many years. Cannabis use is prohibited in leagues like the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and Major League Baseball (MLB), even when the use occurs in a legal state, and even when the use is medical in nature. The Uncle Cliffy team, led by 18 year NBA veteran Clifford Robinson, wholeheartedly opposes cannabis prohibition in professional sports.

Cannabis prohibition does not work, but for some reason many league officials and athletic competition regulators cling to the failed policy anyways. Various reasons are offered up by sports cannabis prohibitionists as justification for keeping prohibition in place. The reasons offered up are not valid and the claims prohibitionists make are often based on personal opinions rather than on facts. Anyone who has conducted sufficient research can easily debunk the reasons offered up by officials who try to justify prohibiting cannabis in professional sports.

One of the most common reasons offered up by sports cannabis prohibitionists is that ‘there needs to be more research’ conducted before leagues and regulatory entities can make an educated decision on a policy change. As the Uncle Cliffy team has previously pointed out, cannabis is one of the most studied substances on the planet. Cannabis has been the subject of more peer reviewed studies than Toradol, Hydrocodone, and Tylenol – combined. All three of those substances are widely embraced by professional sports leagues. If there has been enough studies of those substances to warrant allowing their use by athletes in the NBA, NFL, and MLB, why isn’t the same true for cannabis?

Another common reason offered up by sports cannabis prohibitionists is that cannabis is harmful to players, with no exceptions. That claim completely ignores the undeniable, growing body of evidence that proves that cannabis can be very beneficial for athletes. We list several studies on our website which have found that cannabis can be effective at treating pain and brain injuries. Cannabis is also effective at treating many other conditions and ailments. Cannabis can also help athletes reduce their reliance on opioids and other pharmaceutical drugs, which is something that every league should be on board with. Cannabis has been found to be 114 times safer than alcohol, yet cannabis is banned and alcohol is widely embraced by professional sports leagues. How does that make sense? It doesn’t.

A third reason offered up by some sports cannabis prohibitionists, which is ironic given the previous paragraph, is that cannabis is a performance enhancing drug. The Uncle Cliffy team does not believe that cannabis is an athletic performance enhancer, at least not to the point that it warrants being prohibited for that reason. Some research has found that cannabis consumption can increase blood flow and oxygen uptake. However, the same could be said for water and a number of foods. Cannabis can help with inflammation and pain, but so too can various over-the-counter medications that are not prohibited by professional sports leagues.

Just because a substance provides a slight difference in biological functions such as oxygen uptake does not mean that it should be categorized as a performance enhancing drug. A difference needs to be made between substances that slightly increase a biological function and those that clearly provide an advantage to athletes that use them. A substance needs to provide a significant physical advantage to an athlete in order to warrant being classified as a performance enhancing drug, and therefore be banned in professional sports leagues. What the exact threshold should be is something that the Uncle Cliffy team will leave to the scientific community, but we feel very confident in saying that cannabis is not a performance enhancing drug and should not be in the same category as anabolic steroids.

From a scientific standpoint, cannabis can help athletes via wellness benefits, and is safer than other substances that athletes are allowed to use. From a rules standpoint, any concerns that prohibitionists have do not outweigh the need for compassion for athletes and the need to eliminate the perpetuation of institutional racism in professional sports. Cannabis prohibition has a disproportionate impact on minority athletes, and that is something that professional sports leagues should want to avoid. League cannabis policies should be based on science and logic, not the personal political beliefs of a small group of league officials and sports competition regulators. If the National Hockey League can operate successfully without including cannabis on its list of banned substances, other leagues can certainly do the same. Free the plant!

nate diaz marijuana cannabis

UFC Fighters Will Not Be Penalized For Using CBD Starting In 2018

After UFC 202 Nate Diaz shocked many people, especially members of the media, by using a vaporizer pen during his post-fight interview. Nate pointed out that the vaporizer pen cartridge he was consuming contained cannabidiol (CBD), and touted its benefits. “It’s CBD,” Diaz said at the time. “It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that. So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.” CBD, which is one of dozens of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, has been proven to help treat all types of ailments by various studies and personal testimonies.

CBD does not cause euphoria like its cannabinoid counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Because it does not induce euphoria, CBD has become more and more popular with people (including athletes) that want to experience cannabis’ medical benefits, but without the ‘high’ that comes with consuming THC. All but four states in America have passed cannabis reform measures that are at least CBD-specific. Most sports leagues have been slow to recognize CBD’s benefits, and prohibit CBD along with all other parts of the cannabis plant. One noteworthy exception would be the National Hockey League, which does not list cannabis (or any of its parts) on its banned substances list.

On Friday the World Anti-Doping Agency, which sets the drug testing standards that organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) follow, announced its list of prohibited substances for 2018. One substance was exempt from the list – CBD. Per MMA Fighting:

Beginning Jan. 1, Diaz could vape CBD in the pre-fight press conference if he wanted to, since it will no longer be prohibited at all.

“Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited,” WADA wrote on its website. “Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance.”

On some levels this is a significant move by an agency that has long opposed cannabis in all forms. But the policy change is likely to prove to be largely symbolic from a functioning standpoint. In order for CBD to provide the most amount of benefit, it needs to be coupled with THC, a process known as the ‘entourage effect.’ In layman’s terms, cannabinoids from the cannabis plant work together to help each other travel throughout the human body. Isolated CBD or THC on its own will not be as effective. Combining one with the other, and other cannabinoids via whole-plant extractions, provides the most benefit to the person consuming the cannabis.

So in order for CBD to provide the necessary level of benefit in most cases, it would need to come from the whole cannabis plant. That means that some THC would be involved, putting the athlete at risk of failing a drug test. Athletes can certainly use CBD on its own, but it will not provide as much benefit as if they had consumed CBD combined with other cannabinoids. For some athletes the new policy will be enough, but for most athletes, the policy change by the World Anti-Doping Agency will be more symbolic than anything.

One significant takeaway from the policy change is that the agency does not view CBD as being a performance enhancer, at least not enough to cross the threshold to constitute CBD being a substance that is a performance enhancer as it relates to athletic competition. The new policy that UFC fighters will be bound by is much more progressive than the policies that professional football, basketball, and baseball players are bound to. The National Football League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball still prohibit all forms of cannabis, although it’s worth pointing out that cannabis tests in those leagues only look for THC metabolites in players’ systems, not CBD metabolites. Hopefully this policy change is a step in the right direction rather than a permanent change, and will be followed by more comprehensive reforms.

georgia tech marijuana cannabis

Georgia Tech Athletics Is Considering Changing Its Drug Testing Policy

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has a very strict policy when it comes to cannabis testing. The NCAA currently has a THC metabolite threshold of 15 ng/mL. To put that into perspective, Olympic athletes are held to a standard of 150 ng/mL. From 2013 until 2017 the threshold was just 5 ng/mL for NCAA athletes. According to the NCAA’s website, “NCAA conducts testing at its championships, and year round on campus in Division I and II programs.” All NCAA drug testing involves the collection of the athlete’s urine while under the direct visual supervision of another person.

The first failed test results in a loss of 50% of an athlete’s season in every sport that they participate in. A second failed test results in the athlete losing an entire year of their collegiate athletic career due to suspension. NCAA athletes are guilty until proven innocent, proven by the NCAA’s policy of considering a refusal to take a drug test or failure to show up for a drug test as being the same thing as an actual failed drug test. The NCAA policy does not distinguish cannabis from other ‘street drugs’ in its policy.

In addition to the NCAA’s drug testing policy, schools can also enact their own drug testing policies. A number of schools have instituted drug testing policies that are more progressive than the NCAA standard when it comes to cannabis. As described in a recent article by The Cannabist, universities in Oregon, Washington, and multiple schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference have taken a more sensible approach to their athletic cannabis testing policies. Georgia Tech is the latest university considering whether or not it should update its drug testing policy. Per the previously cited article from The Cannabist:

Georgia Tech’s substance-abuse policy has been in place since the 2012-13 academic year. Athletic director Todd Stansbury believes it’s time to take a look at it. He has the backing of his most prominent coaches, Paul Johnson and Josh Pastner. In examining Tech’s policy, which has a “three-strikes” component, the school is joining what he called a national trend.

Pastner said he is in favor of a different set of consequences for testing positive for marijuana vs. other substances, citing its prevalence on college campuses and legalization in certain states. He also proposed the removal of a strike if an athlete passes tests for a prolonged period.

“I don’t want our guys to be smoking marijuana, but I do think there’s opportunities to maybe have it not be as stringent,” he said.

The Uncle Cliffy team does not advocate for cannabis use for recreational purposes by people under the age of 21. However, we do believe in compassion and logic, and the current NCAA drug testing policy is way too stringent, and ultimately is harmful to college athletes. No college athlete that tests at 15 ng/mL of THC metabolites should ever be penalized, as that threshold does not prove that a player actually consumed cannabis. A study from 2015 found that someone who was simply around other people consuming cannabis could test as high as 50 ng/mL, even though they had never personally consumed cannabis themselves (secondhand smoke exposure).

It is not exactly a secret that cannabis is fairly common on college campuses in America. To say that an athlete should be taken out of competition for just being around cannabis is ludicrous, let alone for half of an entire season for the first offense. The NCAA policy, or even the most progressive cannabis testing policies at the individual university level for that matter, does not provide for exceptions for athletes that are 21 or over and have consumed cannabis in a legal state (of which there are 8 now, plus Washington D.C.). The policies also do not allow exceptions for players who are registered medical cannabis patients in their home state, which is not common for young adult athletes, but a policy should still accommodate for those rare situations where medical cannabis at that age is warranted and approved by a medical doctor.

Cannabis can stay in a person’s system for as long as 100 days. A college athlete could be home, or visiting a legal state, consume cannabis out of season in a legal setting, yet still fail the NCAA’s and/or university’s drug test because they still had THC metabolites in their system. That makes no sense. The Uncle Cliffy team fully appreciates the seriousness of the situation, and that what’s best for college athlete’s health and safety is paramount. But that’s exactly why we advocate for reform in college athletics.

If a college athlete over the age of 21 wants to make the safer choice and consume legal cannabis rather than alcohol, they should be allowed to do so. Also, if a player benefits from using legal medical cannabis instead of more harmful pharmaceutical drugs, college drug testing policies should allow it. If a college athlete has a low enough THC metabolite level in their bodily fluids to compete in the Olympics, then surely they should be able to compete in college sports. A drug testing policy that falls short of that is a policy based more on outdated political views than it is on science and compassion. #FreeThePlant

golf marijuana cannabis

PGA To Increase Cannabis Drug Test Threshold Starting Next Month

Most professional sports leagues prohibit cannabis use, even when the use is occurring in a state that has legalized cannabis for adult use, and even when the use is medical in nature. One exception would be the National Hockey League which does not include cannabis on its list of banned substances. For the leagues that do prohibit cannabis, each has its own threshold that determines whether or not an athlete has failed the drug test due to cannabis use.

Professional sports leagues are specifically looking for the amount of THC metabolites in an athlete’s bodily fluid (usually urine, but sometimes blood). The National Football League (NFL) sets a threshold of 35 ng/mL. The National Basketball Association (NBA) sets its threshold at only 15 ng/mL. Major League Baseball has the highest threshold of the three major sports leagues, setting the threshold at 50 ng/mL. The NFL had previously set its threshold at 35 ng/mL but increased it in recent years. The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) is set to increase its THC metabolite threshold starting in October. Per an article written by an anonymous golfer for Golf Digest:

Under the new policy, the amount of marijuana that can be in my system is being raised by a factor of 10. The threshold for failing a test was 15 nanograms but will now be 150 nanograms.

The new policy is definitely an improvement compared to the PGA’s previous policy. To put things into perspective, PGA golfers will now be held to the same THC metabolite threshold as Olympic athletes. Having a policy that is three times as lenient as Major League Baseball, over four times better than the NFL, and ten times better than the NBA league is commendable. However, the PGA policy change does not go far enough in the opinion of the Uncle Cliffy team.

Anything short of a complete end to cannabis consumption prohibition for adults over 21 years old, including professional golfers, is ultimately unacceptable. The new PGA policy does not provide for any exceptions for medical cannabis use. The new policy also doesn’t account for the fact that cannabis is legal for adult use in 8 states now, as well as in our nation’s capital. A large number of PGA tour events are scheduled in legal cannabis states like California and Nevada. If golfers can legally consume in those states, or their home states (if they have legalized), why should they be penalized by the PGA?

At the same time that the PGA has been testing and penalizing golfers for using cannabis, they have been embracing alcohol. Cannabis is 114 times safer than alcohol. How does it make any sense to continue to penalize players for consuming a plant that is 114 safer than a product (alcohol) that the PGA currently promotes for profit? It doesn’t. The PGA’s ‘new and improved’ cannabis testing policy is still incredibly hypocritical, especially when taking into account cannabis’ proven medical benefits. The Uncle Cliffy team commends the PGA on improving its cannabis policy, but hopefully it serves as more of a step in the right direction versus being considered a permanent fix.

cannabis arrest

More Than 653,000 People Were Arrested for Cannabis In 2016

No one should ever be arrested for cannabis. After all, cannabis has been found to be 114 time safer than alcohol. A cannabis arrest has the potential to ruin someone’s life. Long after the monetary and/or incarceration penalties have been completed by someone arrested for cannabis, the stigma remains. Those arrested for cannabis have to carry around the ‘cannabis scarlet letter’ which makes it hard to find a job, a place to live, and in some cases even prevents parents from being able to coach their kids’ sports teams.

Unfortunately cannabis arrests are far too common in America. With adult-use legalization and medical cannabis reform victories spreading across the country, one would think that the number of cannabis arrests would be significantly dropping in America. Sadly, that is not the case according to recently released arrest statistics. Below is more information about cannabis arrests numbers, via the Marijuana Policy Project. These numbers should serve as motivation for all of us to work harder to free the plant:

An estimated 653,249 arrests were made nationwide for marijuana in 2016, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Crime In the United States (CIUS) report. This means one person was arrested for marijuana approximately every 48 seconds on average in the United States.

The full report is available here: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016 (Note: Marijuana-specific data was not published online but is available upon request.)

“Arresting and citing over half a million people a year for a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol is a travesty,” said Morgan Fox, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Despite a steady shift in public opinion away from marijuana prohibition, and the growing number of states that are regulating marijuana like alcohol, marijuana consumers continue to be treated like criminals throughout the country. This is a shameful waste of resources and can create lifelong consequences for the people arrested.”

There are currently eight states that regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol for adults, four of which voted to do so in November 2016. Marijuana possession is also legal for adults in the District of Columbia. Twenty-three states and D.C. considered legislation in 2017 to regulate marijuana, including in Vermont where the legislature approved such a measure before the governor vetoed it.

“Regulating marijuana for adults creates jobs, generates tax revenue, protects consumers, and takes money away from criminals,” Fox continued. “It is time for the federal government and the rest of the states to stop ruining peoples’ lives and enact sensible marijuana policies.”

cannabis world congress business expo cwcbexpo

Join Cliff Robinson At The CWCBExpo In Boston Next Month

The newly formed 501c3 non-profit Athletes For Care and C3 Global Biosciences are hosting an educational workshop focused on the active lifestyle cannabis user at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) in Boston on October 4th at the John B. Hynes Convention Center.  CWCBExpo Boston, Oct. 4-6, is the leading business trade show and conference for the medical marijuana, legalized recreational marijuana and industrial hemp industries.

The workshop, Cannabis, Wellness and the Professional Athlete, will expand upon the notion of cannabis as a medicine or therapy to explore cannabis as a general health and wellness supplement for the active lifestyle.  Representing Athletes For Care at the event will be Cliff Robinson of the NBA, UFC-legend Frank Shamrock, NHL tough guys Darren McCarty and Riley Cote, and former NFL players Eben Britton and Nate Jackson.

This all-day workshop will offer attendees the exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with several of the pro athletes who are leading the cannabis-in-sports movement.  This jam-packed day will include two educational panels featuring the representatives from Athletes For Care along with industry experts and medical professionals.

The first panel discussion will examine “Performance Training Concepts Incorporating Cannabis,” with the second panel focusing on “Leveraging the Power of Influencer Marketing.”  The day’s activities will also include a Q&A with the audience following each panel discussion, as well as revealing “One-on-One” conversations with former pro athletes discussing the role of cannabis in their sport, their career, and their life.

“We are excited to be part of CWCBExpo Boston and to share with attendees the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plants.  This workshop will take a deep dive into how all active lifestyles and performance athletes can benefit from cannabis as well as create a successful business that caters to this growing demographic,” said Ryan Kingsbury from Athletes for Care.

CWCBExpo Boston will also present its largest conference program to date (Oct. 5-6) made up of curated panel presentations, lectures, and interactive discussions, covering the main sectors of the cannabis industry: Science & Research, Cultivation, Processing, Sales, Taxes & Finances, Investments, Advocacy, and Law & Regulations. The CWCBExpo Boston will also offer headlining Keynote speaker Reverend Al Sharpton, additional add-on workshops on Oct. 4th, and an exhibit floor featuring the latest cannabis innovations and services.

Registration for CWCBExpo Boston is now open at: www.cwcbexpo.com. To view the complete schedule for the workshop, please visit www.athletesforcare.org.

About Athletes For Care
Athletes For Care is a non-profit organization founded by a group of professional athletes uniting as one voice to advocate for research, education, and compassion when addressing important health issues facing athletes and the public at large, such as the over-prescribing of opioids, chronic pain, addiction, access to alternative medicines, traumatic brain injury and CTE.

About C3 Global Biosciences
C3 Global Biosciences is a cause-driven organization committed to developing sustainable health solutions through the advancement of cannabis science. We are passionately driven to continue the research and development of CBD and other cannabinoids to improve the quality of life for the athlete on and off the field.

About Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions (CWCBExpo)
The professionally run Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions (CWCBExpo) are produced by Leading Edge Expositions in partnership with the International Cannabis Association (ICA).  The events are the premier professional forums for dispensary owners, growers, suppliers, investors, medical professionals, government regulators, legal counsel, and entrepreneurs looking to achieve business success and identify new areas of growth in this dynamic industry.  To learn more about the coast-to-coast CWCBExpos in New YorkLos Angeles and Boston, go to www.cwcbexpo.com.  Connect on Twitter/CWCBExpoFacebook/CWCBExpo and Instagram/cwcbexpo.

Source: PR Newswire