I have been writing more and more lately about sports and cannabis. I will always be quick to point out that while I'm a chubby Hobbit blogger, I am also a big sports fan. I play in fantasy football leagues with my friends and family, and have played a lot of basketball over the years. I'm shrimpy, but most of the people in my family are not, and a lot of them are exceptional athletes. Sports has been a big part of my life, and that of a lot of people that are very near and dear to my heart. A lot of my best friendships were made while playing sports, and I know that it's like that for a lot of people out there in America and beyond.
I am also obviously a cannabis activist. I first became a cannabis activist in the late 90's when Oregon was pushing to legalize medical cannabis. I would cut out newspaper articles and share them with registered voters that I knew (which admittedly, wasn't that many since I was a teenager), and I would attend rallies. I remember one time going to a rally at the Oregon State Capital, and then heading directly over to the local YMCA for late afternoon hoops.
So when the sports cannabis movement started to pick up momentum, I was instantly intrigued. The 420 Games, the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, etc. - I support all of it. For so long the common perception was that sports and cannabis didn't mix. That of course is not true. Cannabis and sports are a natural fit. Cannabis can help treat injuries, can help athletes focus more on their workouts, and can help athletes relax. The best part is, cannabis can help athletes no matter what their skill level and/or physical fitness is.
A lot of people in America plays sports and/or exercise regularly. It is estimated that as many as 125 million American adults play sports and/or exercise regularly. As a cannabis activist who doubles as a math nerd, that statistic raises my eyebrows every time. I can't help but think what would happen if all of those adults supported cannabis reform. Obviously, it would be game over for prohibition in America.
As I've said many times, a lot of people in that 125 million statistic will not be convinced that cannabis prohibition has failed unless they hear the message come from an athlete. Whether it's right or not, a lot of people will not listen to most people talk about the benefits of marijuana, because in their mind, it's bad for one's health, no exceptions. However, professional athletes are not most people. Professional athletes are the best physical specimens on the planet, and so when they say that something works for their bodies, people listen.
That's why I think the message that former NBA All Star Cliff Robinson is sharing is so important, and why I get so excited every time I hear more about it. Much like other Oregonians, I grew up watching Cliff Robinson play for the Portland Trailblazers. I watched him trade elbows with bruisers like Horace Grant and Karl Malone all the time. Cliff played in an NBA era that was much, much different than the cupcake league that is the NBA today. The NBA of the 90's and early 2000's was brutal.
So when 18 year NBA veteran Cliff Robinson tells me that something works for treating his ailments, I'm absolutely going to listen. Because after all, if it works for his sports related injuries, obviously it will work for mine as a reigning YMCA noon ball all star. Cliff's message is powerful, and it's changing minds. Minds that might not otherwise be changed by other forms of cannabis advocacy.
I'm also very excited because I know that this is just the beginning. Cliff is a pioneer for sports cannabis, and many, many more are sure to join him. Uncle Spliffy is going to be an ambassador brand. It's going to be the brand that bridges the cannabis and sports worlds. Advocacy will benefit because of all the new support that will be coming on board, and athletes of all abilities and and at all levels will benefit because they will be able to make a safer, more effective choice compared to the current 'choice' of being expected to take harmful, addictive pharmaceuticals.
Cliff Robinson and the Uncle Spliffy team are going to be presenting at the ArcView event in Portland tomorrow and Tuesday. ESPN is going to be covering the event, in addition to many other news outlets. It's time for the sports cannabis movement to shine. As a cannabis advocate, and bootleg athlete, I couldn't be more excited! Go get 'em Uncle Spliffy! #TeamSpliffyFTW