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Garrigus returns from marijuana suspension: ‘I don’t cheat’

Robert Garrigus had some pointed words about the penalties currently stemming from marijuana use on the PGA Tour as he gets set to return from a three-month suspension at this week’s 3M Open.

Garrigus was suspended in March after failing a drug test based on elevated levels of THC, one of the active ingredients in marijuana. The 41-year-old, whose lone Tour win came at the 2010 Children’s Miracle Network Classic, did not appeal his suspension and returned to action with a pair of starts on the Korn Ferry Tour in the last two weeks.

But this week’s inaugural event in Minnesota marks his first PGA Tour start since the Puerto Rico Open, and Garrigus told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis that his marijuana use should not be placed in the same category as other performance-enhancing agents.

“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 said. “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.”

Garrigus shared that he was using prescribed marijuana to treat knee and back pain, and that he had been monitoring his THC levels during the fall and winter in an effort to ensure his use remained within Tour guidelines. While Garrigus is no longer using medical marijuana, he has begun discussions with Tour officials with the hopes of getting marijuana removed from the list of banned substances given that it has been legalized in multiple states in recent years and, according to Garrigus, “doesn’t help you get it in the hole.”

“If you have some sort of pain and CBD or THC may help that, and you feel like it can help you and be prescribed by a doctor, then what are we doing?” Garrigus said. “If you are doing marijuana then we should be testing for alcohol, too. If you can buy it in a store, then why are we testing for it? That’s my opinion.”

The Tour declined to comment to Golf Channel on the story. Garrigus owns a marijuana farm in Washington state, where marijuana is legal, and according to Lewis he will meet with Tour commissioner Jay Monahan at next week’s John Deere Classic.

Garrigus is playing on conditional status this season after finishing 131st in points in 2017-18, but he has only made two of seven cuts this season with his best result a T-20 finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship. He’ll play the first two rounds in Minnesota alongside Lucas Glover and Brandon Harkins.