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Here’s a playing tip you won’t get from your pro
I completely disagree with Alex Miceli’s assessment of the PGA Tour’s drug policy (“Tour’s outdated drug policy nabs Garrigus,” March 25).

I went for my colonoscopy years ago and discovered exactly what a beta blocker does for a person trying to play golf. My wife took me to the range after I had a bite to eat. Keep in mind that one is not supposed to drive or operate machinery after being administered the sleep-inducing drug for the procedure. At the range, I discovered a fluid swing that I previously had not owned. I was capable of moving the ball and pinning my target so well that I asked her if she would let me stay and play. I got in the car and went home.

Pot is a beta blocker. Chronic recreational use would give a golfer a definite advantage over non-users.

Miceli should try smoking some before writing an article of this nature. If he experienced it, he would understand why golf should not allow pot use.

Unlike former President Bill Clinton, I inhaled heavily back in the day, and pot has a way of seriously relaxing a human body. Not as well as what they gave me for the colonoscopy, but just the same.

Smoke some good dope and try playing, especially when you are burned out a bit the next day.

John Herndobler
Chicago


Tour should maintain its ban on marijuana
Alex Miceli made a case that the PGA Tour's drug policy might be outdated regarding marijuana use and that the suspension of Robert Garrigus for using a banned substance, marijuana, was unfair (“Tour’s outdated drug policy nabs Garrigus,” March 25). In making his point, Miceli cited the significant number of states that have legalized marijuana and the fact that using the drug has become more socially accepted. I have a different view of the issue.

First, let me say that I am not at all judging Garrigus’ decision to use marijuana, and I am truly sorry that his choice cost Garrigus a three-month suspension from the Tour. However, what does concern me is the fact that it seems almost daily we hear that the U.S. is in the midst of a deadly opioid crisis, with hundreds of lives being lost from the use of drugs, legal and illegal.

Marijuana is a gateway drug that the medical community agrees can and often does lead to the use of harder drugs (cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, et al.). For this reason, I find it difficult to understand why state after state is legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and that it is being embraced by a large segment of society, evidently including Miceli.

The bottom line is that I hope the PGA Tour decides to leave marijuana (recreational use) on its list of banned substances.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.


Miceli gets it wrong on marijuana
Alex Miceli is perhaps my favorite golf columnist, so it pained me to read his shortsighted and plainly wrong commentary on marijuana (“Tour’s outdated drug policy nabs Garrigus,” March 25).

I am a former federal agent and current trial lawyer. My experience in dealing with the so-called harmless drug marijuana dates to my high school days. I will spare you the anecdotal evidence of watching close friends come under the influence of weed, losing their motivation, ability to reason and becoming minimally or non-productive members of society, when they held so much potential. I also will not go into the details of my criminal-defense practice, in which it is commonplace to see that numerous defendants (in a wide variety of offenses, not just drugs) went astray after being captured by cannabis abuse and often going on to other drugs.

Also, today’s marijuana is not your parents’ marijuana. The commercially cultivated drug is significantly more potent and has almost no regulation. The consequences of legalization are only recently producing effective peer-reviewed studies, and the results are alarming. I invite you to read the recent article in The Atlantic by contributing editor Annie Lowrey, “America’s Invisible Pot Addicts.” You also might want to visit the Smart Approaches to Marijuana website, which offers the latest scientific studies and statistics on the subject.

As for the current perceived popularity and drive to legalize, there has been a consistent scheme of disinformation to achieve that objective. It is about money and votes, not logical analysis.

Former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is correct in saying that the issue affects the image of the sport and is not in the interest of the PGA Tour. It is also not in the interest of golf.

We know that the many lessons one learns and the inherent values of the game make a positive difference in young lives, which carries into adulthood. By following the advice presented in Miceli’s commentary, the PGA Tour would be sending a message to young people that the use of a substance with such negative consequences is OK. Nothing good can come of that.

Taylor Monfort
Oakton, Va.


Finchem is right: Marijuana clouds Tour’s image
I highly support former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem’s opinion that marijuana is bad for the Tour’s image (“Tour’s outdated drug policy nabs Garrigus,” March 25).

I am older – almost 76 – so the millennials probably won’t agree with me.

Robert Garrigus should have been suspended even more than three months because he had a previous problem with addiction. It’s amazing to me that someone with this kind of PGA Tour opportunity would lack the fortitude not to use something that would jeopardize his career.

Carl Goodwin
Charlotte, N.C.


God gave us reefer, so smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em
I couldn’t agree more with Alex Miceli (“Tour’s outdated drug policy nabs Garrigus,” March 25).

That marijuana was ever considered for federal or state regulation is incomprehensible. To regulate a plant that grows wild on almost every warm clime on the planet is baffling. If you’re a God-fearing person, an argument could be made that it was put here on the earth for our use, both recreational and medicinal.

How these things get started is beyond me, but it’s time to come to our senses. This is not a performance-enhancing drug, nor is it as dangerous as many drugs that the pharmaceutical industry puts out there for our “health.”

It’s also very hard to imagine marijuana helping anybody play better golf. I tried it once on the golf course and was 8 over after three holes.

It’s probably one of those incongruities that we will have to live with for a while longer, as long as the suits and the old gray-headed men are footing the bills.

John T. Doyle
Lakeland, Fla.


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