Former UConn star and NBA sojourner Cliff Robinson will be the keynote speaker at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference next month as part of his transition from power forward to marijuana farmer and advocate.
Robinson was affectionately known to fans as “Uncle Cliffy” during his hugely successful basketball career from 1989 to 2007, so it only makes sense his new marijuana grow operation is called “Uncle Spliffy.” The new website is light on details, but he told the Portland Business Journal that he hopes to “distill the stigma around cannabis, the misperception that athletes and cannabis are incompatible.”
Few people would know better. During his professional career, Robinson was disciplined by the league twice for marijuana-related incidents. The NBA—along with every other professional sports league in the U.S.—has strict bans on marijuana for athletes, even those who reside and play in states like Colorado and Oregon where recreational pot is legal.
The NFL faced a wave of criticism last season after the league handed down a full year suspension to Browns receiver Josh Gordon for violating the league’s banned substance policy multiple times, while Ray Rice was suspended for just two games for beating his fiancée on camera. Unlike domestic abuse, drug use carries a mandatory suspension in the NFL.