Back in May of 2014, we asked readers in this blog if they saw recreational marijuana use by golfers becoming an issue at golf operations in the near future, which may have seemed like a random question that came out of nowhere at the time.
Truthfully, I thought readers might think we were into the wacky tabacky to come up with a question not normally associated with a website devoted to sales, marketing, policies and procedures in golf and the results did indicate that it wasn’t top of mind in the industry.
A solid majority, or 69 per cent, of respondents didn’t see marijuana use at golf operations becoming an issue anytime soon.
Actually, I thought the 31 per cent who did see it becoming an issue was solid, certainly more than I expected at that time.
I expect it’s even higher these days after a federal election that saw the Liberals form a majority government under Justin Trudeau. One of the policies the Liberals ran on was legalizing and regulating the sale of marijuana, as this story from CBC indicates.
No time line for making that happen has been given, so it doesn’t appear to be a top priority despite the social media jokes showing Cheech & Chong arriving in Ottawa as advisors or potted marijuana plants coming off the moving van as the Liberals took over.
Still, it also appears that Trudeau and the Liberals remain committed to it, which represents a serious shift in attitude from the days when pot was demonized as those of us who grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s will recall.
So, assuming that weed is legalized, will it now become an issue at golf courses? Would a case of the yips be cured by firing up a doobie before getting to the green?
There are several factors to consider.
Some golfers may still hold on to the attitude towards pot from 40 years ago and be offended by its use by those who have a more relaxed attitude.
Could you actually ban the use of a legalized substance on golf course property and if you can’t, how close to the clubhouse would you allow it, considering its strong smell (give me a break – I grew up in the ‘70s and know what it smells like)?
What about possible impairment? If there are obvious signs that a golfer is impaired, could an operation be liable for anything that might happen once that person leaves the golf course, even he or she didn’t actually purchase it there?
On that same note, should people smoking a reefer be driving golf carts?
Those are just a few of the questions that come to mind and some may actually require consultation with lawyers, so how soon should the golf industry start taking the legalization of marijuana seriously?
That’s the question in this week’s GNN Poll.
You can answer below, or on the GNN home page and please feel free to expand your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Considering that marijuana could be legalized in Canada, how quickly should golf operations be moving to establishing policies on its use on property?
- Wait until legalization takes place. (48%)
- Should be happening now. (27%)
- Even with legalization, it won’t become an issue in golf. (25%)