For the second time this year, the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) has suspended one of its players for medical-marijuana use. In each case, the suspension was for three months.
Matt Every, whose suspension went into effect on October 18, tells the Golf Channel he uses cannabis to treat a "mental health condition." He's a legal patient in Florida.
Every says his physician of 30 years (the golfer is 35) has "determined that I am neither an acceptable candidate to use prescription Z-class drugs nor benzodiazepines. Additionally, these classes of drugs can be highly addictive and harmful to the human body and mind. For me, cannabis has proven to be, by far, the safest and most effective treatment.”
Z-class drugs are sleep aides like Ambien and Lunesta. Benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax are used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Matt Every: "For me, cannabis has proven to be, by far, the safest and most effective treatment.”
While saying he has “no choice but to accept this suspension and move on," Every adds:
“I don’t agree with it for many reasons, mainly for my overall well-being, but I’m excited for what lies ahead in my life and career. Over the last few years I have made massive strides and I know my best is still in front of me. I can’t wait to come back better than ever in January.”
This is Every's second PGA suspension. In 2010, he was docked three months after being arrested for marijuana possession in an Iowa hotel.
Every's two PGA wins were in 2014 and 2015 at the Arnold Palmer Invitiational in Bay Hill, FL.
The other PGA tour player to run afoul of the assocation's drug policy this year was Robert Garrigus, who uses cannabis to deal with knee and back pain and was penalized from March to June.
Garrigus agrees with Every that the PGA should alter its pot policy: "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? If you can buy it in a store, then why are we testing for it? That's my opinion."