Back from suspension, Robert Garrigus advocates for PGA Tour policy change on marijuana use

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

Robert Garrigus will make his official return to the PGA Tour this week at the inaugural 3M Open, his first appearance since he was suspended for violating the PGA Tour’s policy on marijuana earlier this year.

Garrigus was suspended in March for violating the PGA Tour’s “conduct policy that applies to substances of abuse,” marking the first suspension in Tour history for a “drug of abuse.” The 41-year-old initially announced the suspension on social media, saying he had a “relapse” with marijuana.

On Tuesday, though, Garrigus said he had a medical marijuana card and had simply gone over the current limit allowed by the PGA Tour.

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“I wasn’t trying to degrade the PGA Tour in any way, my fellow professionals in any way,” Garrigus said, via the Golf Channel. “I don’t cheat the game. That wasn’t my intentions. But the rules are the rules. I went over, and I got suspended.”

Marijuana is legal in some form in 33 states, and currently legal recreationally in 10 states and Washington D.C. Illinois will become the 11th state in the country to legalize marijuana recreationally next year.

As of 2017, three categories are listed under “drugs of abuse” on the Tour’s anti-doping policy: Cannabinoids, narcotics and other, including cocaine, ecstasy, PCP, DMA and other similar drugs.

Marijuana’s accessibility, along with its extensive medical benefits, are both reasons why Garrigus said the PGA Tour should adjust its policy on marijuana use.

“If you have some sort of pain and CBD or THC may help that and you feel like it’s going to help you and it can’t be prescribed by a doctor, then what are we doing?” Garrigus said, via the Golf Channel.

“If we’re going to do marijuana, you should be testing for alcohol too. If you can buy it in a store, then why are we testing for it?”

And, perhaps most importantly, marijuana doesn’t improve one’s ability to golf in the way a performance enhancing drug would.

“It doesn’t help you get it in the hole,” Garrigus said, via the Golf Channel. “That’s one thing. I understand HGH, anything you’re trying to do to cheat the game, you should be suspended for, 100 percent. Everything else should be a discussion.”

Garrigus hasn’t played on the PGA Tour since the Puerto Rico Open in March, though he has played multiple times on the Korn Ferry Tour — which recently changed its name from the Web.com Tour. The Idaho native finished in a tie for 20th last week at the Utah Championship and even had an incredible eagle hole-out on Saturday.

Garrigus — whose family actually owns a marijuana farm in Washington — is currently in discussions with the PGA Tour and is planning to meet with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan next week at the John Deere Classic to discuss the current policy.

While he may not yet have Monahan’s support on the issue, Garrigus said support among those competing on Tour is unanimous.

“It’s 100 percent,” Garrigus said, via the Golf Channel. “I haven’t heard a bad thing from a single guy (on Tour), and every single guy I’ve talked to said that it’s an absolute ridiculous rule.”

Robert Garrigus is back on the PGA Tour this week at the 3M Open for the first time since he was suspended for violating the Tour's policy on marijuana use — a policy he said needs to change. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Robert Garrigus is back on the PGA Tour this week at the 3M Open for the first time since he was suspended for violating the Tour's policy on marijuana use — a policy he said needs to change. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

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