Late last year I bumped into former NBA player Cliff Robinson at the airport in Portland, Oregon. Jay and I were on our way to Vegas to attend the Marijuana Business Conference there, and Cliff Robinson was on our flight. Jay actually talked to Cliff for a little bit prior to boarding. While we were taking off, Jay and I joked about how cool it would be if Cliff was going to the conference at The Rio. Cliff is a legend to all Portland Trailblazer fans, which is a very big chunk of the State of Oregon from what I can tell.
Little did we know at the time that Cliff was indeed flying to Vegas to attend the event, and was at that time in the process of finalizing the details on an announcement that went viral very fast. That announcement was for 'Uncle Spliffy' Cliff's new brand. Uncle Spliffy is a 'sports cannabis brand' that is about more than just selling products, but also about changing minds. Medical marijuana can do some amazing things for those that suffer from injuries, and injuries are very common in sports.
Most doctors prescribe harmful painkillers to athletes in order to help them alleviate their suffering, which is a temporary fix at best, or the start down a path towards harmful addiction at worst. Either way, the painkillers are often not as effective as a treatment regimen that involves medical cannabis. Cannabis can help those that are suffering from injuries, as well as help people get off of painkillers and battle their addiction. Addiction is something that many, many athletes face, and medical marijuana can help, which is a principle that is at the very core of the Uncle Spliffy brand.
That's why I'm so excited for Uncle Spliffy. I love all things Portland Trailblazers, so I would be excited about Cliff Robinson's entrance into the industry regardless. However, it's the fact that he's doing business AND activism that gets me particularly fired up. Activism and industry go hand in hand, and I'm ecstatic to see that one of my heroes 'gets it.' Below is the focus of Cliff Robinson's activism:
1. Change the commonly held belief that natural cannabis and sports are incompatible.
2. Change the current negative perception of cannabis use in professional sports to a positive one.
3. Get professional sports to recognize the beneficial health factors for using cannabis by athletes.
4. Change the rules for cannabis use in professional sports to allowing its use in season and out.
5. Allow Team Doctors to prescribe and administer cannabis-based products to their players.
6. Help professional athletes past and present see the benefits of natural cannabis as an excellent alternative medicine over prescription drugs.
7. Make a positive impact on those professional athletes past and present that are addicted to prescription and illicit drugs such as opioids, stimulants and central nervous system depressants.
8. Educate Team Doctors from overprescribing addictive pharmaceutical drugs.
9. Offer an alternative to Big Pharma drugs and demonstrate natural cannabis as a healthy, non-addictive and natural medicine alternative.
10. Positively contribute to stopping the "War on Drugs" and reduce the political power of the "Prison Industrial Complex" that makes money off of the drug war effort.
Those are definitely principles that I can get behind. When Cliff Robinson announced he was launching Uncle Spliffy, it created a media storm that went viral almost instantly. I was reading and seeing news coverage from America to Japan. Now that Cliff Robinson has the world's attention, he's going to be focusing that attention on his effort to change attitudes towards cannabis and sports. Which considering how many people play sports and/or are fans of sports, I think that's going to have a tremendous impact on the overall battle to end cannabis prohibition.