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PGA Tour Suspends Robert Garrigus for Violating Drug Policy (Marijuana)


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7 minutes ago, chspeed said:

This is what the PGA Tour gives as examples of Drugs of Abuse. IMO, one of these is not like the others.

Examples:

Cannabinoids (hashish and marijuana)
cocaine
methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy)
phencyclidine (PCP)
dimethylamphetamine (DMA)
benzylpiperazine (BZP)
methylenedioxyamphetamine

The PGA Tour also goes on to differentiate how it treats drugs of abuse vs. anti-doping, as well as its flexibility in sanctioning. To me, it seems that the "program administrator" and tour have wide berth in meting out punishment however they see fit. This only strengthens my suspicion that this 3 month ban has something more behind it than just getting caught with THC in the bloodstream.

How are Drugs of Abuse Violations different from Anti-Doping Rule Violations? Drugs of Abuse Violations, as determined in the discretion of the Program Administrator, shall be referred for evaluation and disciplinary action under the Tournament Regulations for Conduct Unbecoming a Professional. Anti-Doping Rule Violations shall be evaluated under the provisions of the Program and subject to the Sanctions for Anti-Doping Rule Violations.

What is involved in sanctioning? Sanctions for Anti-Doping Rule Violations may include Disqualification, forfeiture of prize money/ points and other awards, ineligibility, and fines. Sanctions for Drugs of Abuse Violations, as determined in the discretion of the Program Administrator, are determined under the Tournament Regulations for Conduct Unbecoming a Professional and may include rehabilitation or medical treatment in lieu of or in addition to other sanctions under the Tournament Regulations.

Source: https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/pdf/2018/2017-2018_Anti_Doping_Manual.PDF

I really feel like you're missing the point of the policy. It's not about how harmful or addictive a substance is. The reason it is banned is stated right in the manual: it is illegal in most countries and involvement with illegal substances goes against the spirit of the sport.

The PGA Tour doesn't want its players breaking the law or doing things that are otherwise controversial. They have an image they want to preserve.

You keep coming at this from just your own perspective and values. How do you think people in Japan, China, or Taiwan would feel about golf and the PGA Tour if they sanctioned marijuana use?

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I don't care two shits about golf in the Olympics. Just like some of the pros think.

“And thy Holy PGA spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out thy reefer from thy mouth. Then, shalt thou count to three months suspension. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count,

I really feel like you're missing the point of the policy. It's not about how harmful or addictive a substance is. The reason it is banned is stated right in the manual: it is illegal in most countrie

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You have to know that breaking a rule is going to come with a consequence, not that I agree with the rule but it is a rule none the less. The 3 month suspension does not seem that extreme.

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It's the PGA Tour's prerogative as with any organization to make the rules it feels will uphold the standards they want. RG knew the rules and broke them. I don't think it gets any more simple than that.  

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23 hours ago, iacas said:

The PGA Tour sees value in being in the Olympics, and I believe sports who want to be in the Olympics need to conform to the WADA. Or they're helped greatly if they do.

It's that simple.

I'm not sure I fully understand the Olympics connection. The NHL (apparently, from this article: 

i?img=%2Fphoto%2F2019%2F0305%2Fmultispor

Of the 123 major sports teams, 82 percent play in areas where it's legal to purchase medicinal or recreational marijuana. The NHL has noticed. Who's next?

) doesn't suspend for drugs of abuse, and hockey is in the Olympics.

 

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9 minutes ago, jamo said:

I'm not sure I fully understand the Olympics connection. The NHL (apparently, from this article: 

Hockey isn't golf. Golf is new and trying to gain a foothold in the Olympics. They're still on a probationary try-out. Hockey is secure in its spot, and Olympic athletes are still under the purview of the WADA, I believe, which still outlaws marijuana.

I am saying that golf is still trying to present its strongest case.

Heck, I think the main impetus for implementing their drug testing policy was getting into the Olympics.

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My personal beliefs aside I am always one who believes if you know the rules (whether you agree with them or not) and you break them, then you accept any punishment.

I think RG's apology is a bit much, I mean he smoked a joint who gives a shit? I would have had a lot of respect for him if he would have just said "Hey I smoked a bowl with some friends, I got popped, see you in three months." 

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10 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I think RG's apology is a bit much, I mean he smoked a joint who gives a shit? I would have had a lot of respect for him if he would have just said "Hey I smoked a bowl with some friends, I got popped, see you in three months." 

Agreed. He probably would have gained some fans if he said that instead.

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6 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

My personal beliefs aside I am always one who believes if you know the rules (whether you agree with them or not) and you break them, then you accept any punishment.

I think RG's apology is a bit much, I mean he smoked a joint who gives a shit? I would have had a lot of respect for him if he would have just said "Hey I smoked a bowl with some friends, I got popped, see you in three months." 

I don't necessarily think a public apology was necessary, unless the PGA required it of course. However, since he did give one it did need to be respectful. I didn't read what he put out, doesn't matter enough to me to spend the time, so I don't know if he went overboard or not. That said, if you are going to put out an apology, it's better to go overboard with it than flippant.

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2 hours ago, billchao said:

I really feel like you're missing the point of the policy. It's not about how harmful or addictive a substance is. The reason it is banned is stated right in the manual: it is illegal in most countries and involvement with illegal substances goes against the spirit of the sport. 

The PGA Tour doesn't want its players breaking the law or doing things that are otherwise controversial. They have an image they want to preserve.

 

No, I totally get it. I never said that they shouldn't have punished RG, or not taken action. I just think that the punishment, a three-month suspension, for smoking weed, is out of touch.

The concept of weed being controversial, or against the spirit of the sport is, and IMO, should be, changing - specifically when it is not used in competition. Weed is not the same as cocaine or MDMA, or other much more serious substances on that list. It's also legal in many places while those substances are illegal everywhere. I realize it's still illegal federally (and may be for a long time), but since the PGA clearly has latitude on what punishments they mete out, I think they should have been more lenient. That's why I think there's a bit more to the story.

 

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6 minutes ago, chspeed said:

The concept of weed being controversial, or against the spirit of the sport is, and IMO, should be, changing - specifically when it is not used in competition. Weed is not the same as cocaine or MDMA,

Should it be allowed in sports if the athlete can only calmly compete with the drug? Is that fair to other athletes who do not need weed?

 

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No sorry, meant the opposite. IMO, it should never be allowed in competition (unless medically neccessary)

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As long as I can remember, if you smoked pot you were considered a stoner and a loser. That is still true today...🙂

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9 minutes ago, TRUCKER said:

As long as I can remember, if you smoked pot you were considered a stoner and a loser. That is still true today...🙂

That may have been true in the past, back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.   In the local newspapers today the article on marijuana came out stating that the average user is over 60 and uses it for medicinal purposes.   I don't have facts to back that up just what I read in the local newspaper today.

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11 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

That may have been true in the past, back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.   In the local newspapers today the article on marijuana came out stating that the average user is over 60 and uses it for medicinal purposes.   I don't have facts to back that up just what I read in the local newspaper today.

Not for nothing, but doesn't that work out pretty well for people who were smoking back in the 60s-80s?? **edit** Meaning that it's the same generations of people that used it the most** That puts them 60+ years old and now they get to use it legally for medicinal purposes. Honestly, I think medicinal use is fine, though I really think that it would make way more sense to pull the beneficial chemicals from it to use in pill or liquid form so people can get the help without the high.

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26 minutes ago, TRUCKER said:

As long as I can remember, if you smoked pot you were considered a stoner and a loser. That is still true today...🙂

If you drink are you considered a drunk and a loser?  Just something to consider, FWIW I've never touched the stuff.

1 hour ago, NM Golf said:

"Hey I smoked a bowl with some friends, I got popped, see you in three months." 

I would have gotten a kick out of that.

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6 minutes ago, Foot Wedge said:

If you drink are you considered a drunk and a loser?  Just something to consider, FWIW I've never touched the stuff.

I would have gotten a kick out of that.

Does the person drink to get drunk every time they drink? Then yes. But, I know a lot of people who rarely/if ever get drunk when they drink, so for those people no. To me, that's the difference. I've never known someone who smoked weed that didn't get high/baked/etc. Do people ever smoke weed and not get high? (outside of medicinal use)

 

That said, all this discussion is really :offtopic:so we should steer back to the discussion about the topic.

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39 minutes ago, TRUCKER said:

As long as I can remember, if you smoked pot you were considered a stoner and a loser. That is still true today...🙂

I think you're wrong here, the social stigma associated with marijuana use has changed significantly. The legalization of recreational use and the increased awareness of THCs medicinal properties has made marijuana use a much more accepted practice in today's society. To call marijuana users "stoners" and "losers" smacks of being a bit old fashioned and behind the times. It's like the little old man who sits on his porch and yells at the neighbor kids to stay off his lawn. 

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27 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I think you're wrong here, the social stigma associated with marijuana use has changed significantly. The legalization of recreational use and the increased awareness of THCs medicinal properties has made marijuana use a much more accepted practice in today's society. To call marijuana users "stoners" and "losers" smacks of being a bit old fashioned and behind the times. It's like the little old man who sits on his porch and yells at the neighbor kids to stay off his lawn. 

That’s what all the stoners say!   :-D

But yeah, I agree, the perception has definitely changed.  To get back on topic though, it’s moot.  The Tour has set rules with penalties for breaching those rules.  I applaud Garrigus for not whining, and simply accepting responsibility and the consequences for his actions.

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