Former Portland Trail Blazer Cliff Robinson claims he’s always been a marijuana proponent, but now takes that advocacy to a new level.
The retired eighteen-year NBA veteran, who spent his first eight seasons with the Blazers, commands the keynote speaker spot at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference on February 4th. With the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in Oregon, Robinson aims to start a cannabis business called Uncle Spliffy.
In an interview with KOIN 6 News, Robinson spoke of the positive aspects of pot. “(It’s) calming,” he claims, “calm my stomach, calm my nerves, so from that standpoint I see a lot of positives.”
Robinson joined the league in 1989 as a 2nd-round draft choice for Portland out of the University of Connecticut. During his long NBA career he admits that he regularly partook of the banned substance. In 2006 while Robinson played for the New Jersey Nets, the NBA disciplined the 6’ 10” power forward for a positive marijuana test.
“When I did it, it was wrong. I paid the penalty. But now we’re in a new time and we’re trying to move forward,” he said.
Robinson maintains that the NBA needs to recognize the medicinal value of marijuana and it’s use as a pain reliever. “I think we definitely have to continue looking into cannabis and the benefits that it has, the health benefits that it has, because I think it’s come leaps and bounds,” he said.
The cannabis conference, reports the Portland Business Journal, aims to help Oregon cannabis growers build distribution systems to meet the expanding demand for product. The event also features a career readiness symposium as well as a “marijuana investor summit boot camp.”
Robinson, who played for five different NBA teams, contends that the Cannabis Collaborative Conference provides “an opportunity for me to get out there and tell people a little bit about myself outside of basketball.” He added, “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.”