PGA TourJuly 2, 2019

Tour pro tells Golf Channel his suspension was result of medical marijuana, asserts PGA Tour policy is too stringent

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Vaughn Ridley(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Robert Garrigus is back on the PGA Tour this week at the 3M Open following a three-month suspension for a failed drug test. And if the veteran’s return was somewhat under the radar, it won’t be for long.

In March, the tour announced that the 41-year-old had violated its Anti-Doping Program. Although the tour used the term “drug of abuse,” Garrigus—who overcame substance issues to become a PGA Tour winner in 2010 and finish T-3 at the 2011 U.S. Open—confirmed he had tested positive for marijuana in a statement of his own. Speaking to the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, Garrigus said that marijuana should not be considered in the same category as other performance-enhancing items.

“I wasn’t trying to degrade the PGA Tour in any way, my fellow professionals in any way. I don’t cheat the game,” Garrigus told the Golf Channel. “I understand HGH [Human Growth Hormone], anything you are trying to do to cheat the game you should be suspended for 100 percent. Everything else should be a discussion.”

The tour defines a “drug of abuse” in its anti-doping manual as “recreational drugs that are often times obtained illegally.” However, Garrigus said he was prescribed medical marijuana to treat knee and back pain, and told the Golf Channel if a doctor believed it could help him, “then what are we doing?”

“If you are doing marijuana, then we should be testing for alcohol, too,” Garrigus said. “If you can buy it in a store, then why are we testing for it? That's my opinion.”

Garrigus, who owns a marijuana farm in Washington, told the Golf Channel he plans to meet with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in hopes of removing marijuana from the banned list.

Garrigus hasn’t played on tour since missing the cut at the Puerto Rico Open in February. His best finish during the 2018-'19 season has been a T-20 at the Sanderson Farms Championship last October. He returns to the tour 222nd in the FedEx Cup standings and is currently playing with conditional status.

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