By Alec Nathan, Featured Columnist
Former NBA All-Star and 1992-93 Sixth Man of the Year Award winner Clifford Robinson will appear at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference in early February as a speaker as he gets set to open his own grow operation in Oregon, according to the Portland Business Journal's Andy Giegerich.
Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin noted Thursday that Robinson's business venture has been titled "Uncle Spliffy," a play on his nickname, "Uncle Cliffy." In 2014, Oregon passed the Legalized Marijuana Initiative, Measure 91, which authorized "in-state manufacture, processing, sale of marijuana by/to adults" and kept the state's current medical marijuana laws intact.
"It's an opportunity for me to get out there and tell people a little bit about myself outside of basketball," Robinson said, per Giegerich. "People in Oregon know me as a basketball player, but I want to distill the stigma around cannabis, the misperception that athletes and cannabis are incompatible."
According to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), the NBA suspended Robinson multiple times for violating the league's drug policy.
Robinson also told Giegerich he believes marijuana can serve as a natural painkilling substitute for athletes compared to the drugs they're prescribed.
"Cannabis is definitely a more positive alternative to pharmaceuticals at the end of the day," Robinson said. "Those are synthetics. I'm talking about something that's natural that can bring the outcomes you're looking for, be it for muscle tension or relaxation or preparedness."
Like former Denver Broncos tight end and author Nate Jackson, Robinson has joined a growing list of former athletes who have chosen to speak out in favor of marijuana as a safer painkilling alternative.
Photo: BILL KOSTROUN/Associated Press