Announcer: Information provided on this podcast does not, and is not intended to constitute legal advice. All information, content and materials available on this podcast are for entertainment purposes only. The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Cultiva Law. Now, without further ado, here are your exquisite esquires, Mio Asami and Fabiola Jimenez.
Mio and Fabiola (together): Hola squad!
Mio Asami: We’re back.
Fabiola Jimenez: Yes, we are back for another episode of Cultivating Conversations. Not the one and only.
Mio Asami: Well, two and only-
Fabiola Jimenez: Oh, shit. [crosstalk 00:00:36] It is Friday. So we have a very special-
Mio Asami: It’s a special edish.
Fabiola Jimenez: Very special edition. Very different than what we normally do, which is very structured, you got 20 minutes, four points. We actually have some very special guests today that want to talk to you about sports and cannabis.
Mio Asami: Yeah. Because guess who wrote the fuckin’ awesome ass article?
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah, guess who wrote it? Gentlemen, you want to introduce yourselves?
Mio Asami: Let’s start with Thomas.
Thomas Butcher: Yes, this is Thomas Butcher, and I wrote an article on sports and cannabis.
Mio Asami: Hell yeah. So that’s, before we get- sorry, before we even get to our last guest, that’s literally the topic of our conversation today is sports and cannabis. And what the fuck happens when you mix the two, or when you don’t mix the two.
Fabiola Jimenez: Other guest is none other than…
Kenneth Ford: Ken Ford.
Fabiola Jimenez: You guys have heard him before on shows like [crosstalk 00:01:30], but y’all didn’t know that he has a sports background, and what is that, Ken? What do you do? What do you do that’s so special, that no one else in this office does?Besides taxes and read.
Mio Asami: Read and taxes.
Kenneth Ford: I am a Major League Baseball representative, an agent for pay.
Mio Asami: So anybody looking for, holla at your boy.
Fabiola Jimenez: That’s right, that’s right.
Mio Asami: So yeah, that’s what we’re talking about today. That’s what we got. Ken, Thomas is a long-time sports fan. Obviously, again, he wrote the article. Which was, it was the leading news article, right?
Thomas Butcher: Yeah, the leading news article on cannabisnow.com.
Mio Asami: Hell yeah.
Thomas Butcher: I made the front page, which was great. Sit up there for, I think it was two days, so that was legit.
Mio Asami: Hell yeah, it’s legit. So you want to tell us what you wrote about, and we’re just kind of-okay, y’all, just kind of bear with me. I’m literally winging this entire thing, because I just thought it’d be fun to freely talk about this. So you want to-
Kenneth Ford: It’s okay to freestyle in a podcast.
Mio Asami: Yeah. Hell yeah. I mean, I can’t do any of that. Cut the check is the most I do. So Thomas, you want to go ahead and just tell us what the fuck you wrote about and what it was about?
Thomas Butcher: Yeah, so kind of just a general summary. I think sports is going the same direction as society.
Mio Asami: 100%.
Thomas Butcher: From being very heavily regulated and there being lots of penalties for breaking cannabis rules, to now you’re seeing different professional sports leagues, whether it’s the NHL or UFC or the NFL that are being more lenient with their penalties. And they’re allowing cannabis by their players more, and they’re creating treatment programs. And instead of saying, “Hey, you’re going to be suspended for five games, 10 games, we’re going to fine you $50,000”, or even such severe things as suspended for half a season. To now where, it might only be a suspension for one game, or another suspension that fall. The NHL has said that the league no longer classifies cannabis as a banned substance. They were really the first United States professional league to come out in making that stance. And then the UFC decided they’re not testing for cannabis anymore. And so that was kind of a big deal. And so you’re just seeing a steady progression for players and the treatments by the different leagues. And I think that’s just going to keep evolving as time goes on.
Mio Asami: Yeah, yeah. So, as a base matter, for people, I don’t know. I’m sure, not I’m sure…Literally everybody has touched sports in some way or form, whether you watch it, or your ex-boyfriend watched it or whatever the fuck it is. So everybody’s got some experience with sports, right? Watching, or participating, or whatever it is. Why do you think we even test for these things to begin with? Why was it such a prohibited thing in the beginning? This is just a philosophical question, I’m not asking for “This is the official reason why they say you can’t do drugs”, but why do you think they test for drugs?
Kenneth Ford: Well, generally, they’re performance enhancers, so your steroids-
Mio Asami: But would weed be a performance enhancer?
Kenneth Ford: No, no, and I think this is where it gets a little complicated. With baseball, baseball has a very interesting history with drugs. They’re the ones that have been attributed to, for instance, normal, recreational use of cocaine is attributed to Major League Baseball, [crosstalk 00:05:31].
Mio Asami: If it ain’t white, it ain’t right.
Kenneth Ford: And there’s been pitchers who have thrown no-hitters under performance of psychedelics.
Mio Asami: Hell yeah, you’re telling me that there’s players who dropped acid, and they’re suddenly fuckin’ Hall of Famers?
Kenneth Ford: Well, I wouldn’t say they’re a Hall of Famer, but they threw a no-hitter on acid, yeah. There’s stories and documentaries about these people.
Mio Asami: Hell yeah.
Kenneth Ford: And so with baseball, I think it’s a very hidden unknown thing, but they’ve never tested for recreational drugs, period.
Mio Asami: Really?
Kenneth Ford: Yeah, especially at the Major League level. Only the Minor Leagues do they test for recreational drugs.
Mio Asami: So what’s a recreational drug?
Kenneth Ford: Cannabis, cocaine, crack-
Mio Asami: Does acid count?
Kenneth Ford: Heroin-who?
Mio Asami: Acid.
Kenneth Ford: Oh, acid, yeah.
Mio Asami: Angel.
Kenneth Ford: So they still-
Mio Asami: PCP-
Fabiola Jimenez: Why do you know so many drugs?
Mio Asami: Heroin, meth-
Fabiola Jimenez: Crank-
Mio Asami: Opium.
Kenneth Ford: Yeah. So they’ve never tested, and that’s why they were able during the Sammy Sosa Mark McGuire era to take steroids, because they weren’t tested for anything. It was like, “Do you, you performing? Whatever gets you on that field, do your thing, do it.” And then once they started implementing a drug testing policy, it was only for the performance enhancers, and then they imposed the street drugs on the Minor Leagues. So one thing you will see, recently they have okayed cannabis use, so they don’t test for it in Minor League. But what you would see in the past is, if you had a top prospect that potentially could be in the majors but they were currently the minors and they tested positive for cannabis, they would just bring them up to the majors.
Mio Asami: Oh, so it’s not prohibited anymore.
Kenneth Ford: Yeah, and so now they won’t have to deal with that suspension.
Mio Asami: Right, right. That’s pretty dope.
Fabiola Jimenez: That’s a nice little loophole there.
Mio Asami: Yeah. I also, until I really thought about it, I never realized how many types of professional sport-that’s a terrible thing to say, but also we got NBA, we got NHL, we got fuckin’ NFL, we got MLB, and then you got MLS, and then you got UFC, and then you got, there’s so many fuckin’ sports. And you’re telling me, other than MLB obviously, because we just talked about it, but most of them test for drugs? Is that still what’s happening?
Kenneth Ford: Yeah, pretty much.
Thomas Butcher: I think too, one of the things as professional sports athletes, I think we as a society look up to them so much-
Mio Asami: Cut the check, that’s what I was looking for. Yep. [crosstalk 00:08:30] Money.
Thomas Butcher: We hold them to such a high standard, maybe even look at them sometimes as superheroes.
Mio Asami: Yeah, idolize them, right?
Thomas Butcher: So I think when it came to cannabis or other drugs or alcohol, they tried to be really strict and hold that image. If it was maybe a different industry, it wouldn’t be treated the same. So I think, I’m certain it probably plays a little bit of impact to it.
Mio Asami: Yeah. Because can you imagine a firefighter getting fired for smoking weed? Maybe it happens, I don’t know. But they’re heroes, right? That kind of occupation is considered a hero, and they don’t- maybe they do test for drugs, actually. Don’t hold me to that. But it’s not a huge thing, right? So I think part of it is that these people are in the public eye, and because drugs have a stigma attached to it that you got to stay clean, which is for better or for worse. I understand it in some ways, but we all touch cannabis.
Kenneth Ford: It would be interesting to look into the new studies as into why these different sports started imposing these drug policies. I feel sorry for the college kids, the NCAA, because they do test for it, they have a pretty stringent testing policy. When I played [crosstalk 00:10:03] in college, I got drug tested six times in one year.
Mio Asami: Shit, why didn’t you tell us that background, bro? What do you mean, college? What the fuck you do?
Kenneth Ford: Yeah, I played baseball in college, and participated in College World Series. So I think in that year-
Mio Asami: NBD.
Kenneth Ford: We played, in College World Series, in the playoffs. Every series, they would test us. At every game, they would pick a random person and drug test him. [crosstalk 00:10:33]
Mio Asami: I was going to say, is this a random person out of-
Kenneth Ford: Yeah.
Mio Asami: It’s not like the entire team gets tested?
Kenneth Ford: No, just a random person, but I randomly got selected every single step of the way.
Mio Asami: Oh shit. That doesn’t sound random to me, dude.
Kenneth Ford: But then even sometimes the NCAA, the university in itself will test the student athletes, too. And so you won’t be necessarily suspended for the whole year, but a lot of times, the first offense with any university is a slap on the wrist. Because they understand, you know college kids. But they’re like, “Hey, don’t do this, because you could really potentially hurt yourself if the NCAA catches you during this drug test.” University of Denver, U-dub, everybody in legal weed states and all of their college classmates are partaking in state sovereignty rights, and unfortunately those athletes aren’t able to.
Mio Asami: Do you think it’ll change if…the next step, at least for federal weed laws, is to decriminalize, right? Do you think that’ll speed up the process within how sports views weed, or do you think it will affect it at all? Do you think it has to be federal recreational legalization level, or what do y’all think?
Thomas Butcher: I think one factor that is helping move things forward is, and they’ve probably been doing this for a while the less taboo it becomes in society, is the benefits of it. I think the more information that comes out about the benefits of cannabis, and how it would help athletes that have been hurt and just their recovery. I think then the leagues can then leverage that and be like, “Oh, well we did this research and yeah, they’re decriminalizing it from the Biden administration, but also look over here, these are all these positive things it can do”. Somebody can point at that and be like, “This is going to help our athletes”. This is something that’s going to help potentially with brain injuries in the NFL. Or they could point to something, and then that would allow the leagues to kind of ease their restrictions as well. But certainly I think decriminalizing it would help the overall societal view, I guess.
Mio Asami: Yeah. The way I see it, it’s kind of chicken and the egg, right? Can you imagine if a sports player, like Mookie Betts, all of a sudden is endorsing a fucking weed strain? He’s like, “Yo, this helped with my inflammation in my body.” You know what I mean? Which way would affect society more; changing the laws, or actually having sports take an active stance on accepting weed? Rather than being like “Eh”, it’s kind of a passive, like “We’ll be okay with it”. You know what I mean?
Kenneth Ford: I think it’s kind of interesting. Because one, the players themselves can’t endorse. Like, they can’t endorse alcohol, for instance.
Mio Asami: True, true.
Kenneth Ford: You don’t see them on alcohol commercials-
Mio Asami: But alcohol’s not medicine.
Kenneth Ford: But the league can endorse it. The league can have commercials, the league can have sponsors. [crosstalk 00:14:21].
Mio Asami: Which makes sense. Bud Lite? Oh, Jesus.
Kenneth Ford: Yeah. It makes sense, but it doesn’t, because you talk about all sports and we look to them, and it’s a very family oriented and children thing. Well the league in itself is saying it’s okay, but they’re just not allowing these players individually. And so when it comes to information and things, I do think you will see players maybe be able to sponsor and endorse CBD and hemp products, because they have a medicinal purpose, and they’re using it right now. Now Major League Baseball is researching which hemp and CBD products are okay for their players to use. So I think you will see that, but I think it’s just a-
Mio Asami: But hemp and CBD are, especially if it’s come to topicals, that’s federally legal, right? So that doesn’t even fall in the category of weed, but they’re still regulating that somehow with their players?
Kenneth Ford: They came out and had to say it was okay, they had to make an official statement, like “Hey, it’s okay for these players to use it, but we want to research and see which ones [inaudible 00:15:31] and make sure before they use it, that we say [inaudible 00:15:34] approval.”
Mio Asami: Okay. Yeah. I guess that makes sense. I’m just literally just still like imagining fucking Russell Wilson coming out and being like, “Yo, Bubba Kush, that’s that shit right there.” You know what I mean? Like, “I went to church on Sunday and I came home and smoked a-” you know what I mean? I think that’d be fuckin’ dope, no pun intended.
Thomas Butcher: I think it’s one of those things that once it becomes decriminalized, or legalized federally, and the leagues start allowing their players to be more open about it, and less suspensions, that kind of stuff, there’ll be so many players that will come forward and say, “Oh, I’ve been using, I’ve been smoking for a very long time.” Or, “I’ve been doing this in the off season for years, it really helps me”. And once the curtain gets pulled back, I think people are going to be surprised at how many athletes are using it for purposes of recovery and healing and all that kind of stuff. But right now, they’re just not allowed to talk about it, that’s what I’m thinking. That doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. I think-
Mio Asami: 100%.
Thomas Butcher: There’ll be a light to shed on it.
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah, I think it’s so important. We talk about this all the time, it’s just all about the education. It’s all about the stigma. It’s all about having that conversation, that cannabis and hemp, CBD, or whatever you want to call it, is just another word. It’s just another thing that you use every day. It’s like when people talk about like, “Well, you know what, I just really need a drink.” It’s so generic. It could be whiskey, it could be a glass of wine, it could be literally anything. It could be a double, could be single, it could be a mini, could be a six-pack-
Mio Asami: Three fingers, guys. Three fingers.
Fabiola Jimenez: Three fingers. It could be neat, it could be dirty, shaken. I don’t know, is that how you do stuff with alcohol? I don’t drink very much. I only do very hard drugs. That’s the thing, the more you talk about it, the more it becomes normalized, the less people are going to think about as being the gateway drug and the devil’s lettuce. And I think it’s so important to have athletes be able to talk about it, because yeah, it’s going to be surprising to know how many of our favorite wholesome athletes are using cannabis in one shape or form.
Mio Asami: And I mean, not- sorry, just piggybacking off of that. Not so much of a wholesome player, but Marshawn Lynch. I got some background inside scoop on that guy. He smokes so much. I think. Allegedly, allegedly, allegedly. Marshawn Lynch is also the shit.
Kenneth Ford: I think there’s a high correlation of cannabis consumption from NFL players, they talk about how it helps them recover and a lot of things. But I think that what leagues are not realizing is that they’re turning a lot of their players into alcoholics, because they can’t use cannabis. And you don’t really see that too much, because you’ll see the suspensions, and people going to drug program treatments where they use the cannabis. But one for instance was Derrick Rose. He admitted about having an alcohol problem. I hate to say this about MJ, but if you watch that “Last Dance” documentary-
Mio Asami: Oh my goodness, yes-
Kenneth Ford: It looked like he was definitely having a few drinks, constantly. And so I think that they really are just doing these players a disservice with that, because when you add in the alcohol [inaudible 00:19:21], you’re going to get a lot of DUIs. So you see-
Mio Asami: Which is super common. We see and here that all the time, right? Like, “X player got DUI in Florida or wherever the fuck because they’re speeding.” So I agree, yeah.
Kenneth Ford: I personally wouldn’t want to mix alcohol and a person who gets paid to rely on their instincts.
Mio Asami: Right, because you’re inhibiting all their instincts, and then it’s like “What the fuck?”.
Kenneth Ford: They get paid on relying on their instincts. Because if you are out there on that football field, and you’re trying to think before you act, guess what happened? Touchdown, buddy. We need you to rely on instincts. So if you add that idea, that concept and then mix it with alcohol, I wouldn’t want to be around that. Now, if you add those instincts and add a little cannabis-
Mio Asami: It’s a different story.
Kenneth Ford: Yeah, it’ll give you some time.
Mio Asami: You got HD hearing now, because that’s what happens to me. So, I’m kind of jumping. No, sorry. I was going to jump topics, but if you-
Fabiola Jimenez: Oh, what were you going to say?
Mio Asami: I was going to talk about Paul Pierce a little bit. What happened with him. [crosstalk 00:20:40].
Fabiola Jimenez: Generic question.
Mio Asami: No, I was just going to say, do we all know what happened? Who wants to describe what happened with him?
Fabiola Jimenez: I don’t know what happened, please enlighten me.
Mio Asami: Oh yeah, [inaudible 00:20:50] what happened with Paul Pierce? Who knows? Go for it.
Kenneth Ford: Kind of a long story short, Paul Pierce, he went on, I don’t know if it was Facebook Live, or Instagram Live-
Mio Asami: I think it was Instagram.
Fabiola Jimenez: Was that the- oh, now I know [crosstalk 00:21:09] yeah, the video, and the-
Kenneth Ford: Yeah. He went on there with two scantily clad women-
Fabiola Jimenez: I love how they describe them-
Kenneth Ford: And he was smoking a blunt on there. And two days later, ESPN fired him because of those actions.
Mio Asami: So why did ESPN fire him? In the sense of- [crosstalk 00:21:30] yeah, exactly. Is it the video? Is it the weed? Is it the ass cheeks? [crosstalk 00:21:36].
Fabiola Jimenez: I think there’s a lot of ethical codes of conducts when you’re part of a sports team, when you’re part of certain organizations. I kind of had the same thought, I was like “Is this-” [crosstalk 00:21:46]
Mio Asami: I’m going to be real, I don’t watch ESPN. Fuck ESPN. But he had a show on ESPN, right? [crosstalk 00:21:50].
Fabiola Jimenez: “ESPN en Español.” [crosstalk 00:21:50].
Thomas Butcher: “ESPN Deportes”. [crosstalk 00:22:01]
Fabiola Jimenez: ESPN, you can sponsor me, it’s fine.
Mio Asami: I’m a hundred percent [crosstalk 00:22:04].
Fabiola Jimenez: Well, I didn’t see anything wrong with what he did. I wouldn’t have partaken in such activities, myself.
Mio Asami: Or published them.
Fabiola Jimenez: There would have been different [crosstalk 00:22:20]. First off, they would have been naked men. Ass cheeks everywhere. But I would not have broadcasted it. But my thing was, is it the weed? Is it the smoking?
Mio Asami: Right, what was the fire-able offense?
Fabiola Jimenez: Is it the video? Because as lawyers, we’re dissecting, what was the actual cutoff point where they said “You know what, if you would have been doing this privately and somehow we found out that you were doing that”, would that have been as big of a deal? Is it just because it was kind of embarrassing, like “Well, you’re supposed to be this like wholesome personality on ESPN, but the real you is the real you”. And that happens with everybody. Everybody has their-
Mio Asami: You’ve got your work side-
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah, your work side-
Mio Asami: Your profesh side.
Fabiola Jimenez: And then you have your ratchet side that you show around your friends.
Mio Asami: On your ratchet happy birthday.
Fabiola Jimenez: So what do you think it is, guys?
Kenneth Ford: I think it was the weed. I don’t necessarily think it was the women. I was trying to think about any announcer being next to scantily clad women. Think of Stephen A. Smith doing, or Kenny Mayne. I don’t recall any of them being in these compromising situations. Jalen Rose. So it’s hard to say, I’m trying to remove the cannabis from the video and just see Paul Pierce looking there. And two women.
Mio Asami: Right, if he’s just got a video of him and some ladies,
Kenneth Ford: Yeah, dancing-
Mio Asami: Yeah, dancing ladies, they’re just all having a good time. Would he still have been fired? Do we know that?
Kenneth Ford: I don’t think so.
Fabiola Jimenez: I don’t think so either, because it happens all the time. Go to any strip club in Atlanta, on a Friday or Saturday night-
Mio Asami: Oh, 100%-
Fabiola Jimenez: Actually, any time there’s any sort of sports anything. [crosstalk 00:24:18]
Kenneth Ford: It doesn’t need to be sports. In any, today, right now, [crosstalk 00:24:23]
Mio Asami: Literally right now, as we speak-
Kenneth Ford: Happy Hour.
Mio Asami: They say they’re going for the wings, but we all know.
Fabiola Jimenez: I don’t know if you want to go to a strip club during the day, because personally-
Mio Asami: That’s what I’m saying, they go for the wings.
Kenneth Ford: They are really good.
Mio Asami: You know what, every fuckin’ dude says that-
Kenneth Ford: I promise you this, [inaudible 00:24:52] and there’s some guy in the back whipping it up, and you’d be like “Oh, this is lemon pepper? Is this [inaudible 00:24:57]? I don’t know, but it’s good.”
Fabiola Jimenez: Personally, I haven’t partaken in male strip clubs-
Mio Asami: Someone bring me some take out wings from a strip club so I can actually taste how good it is. Because I can bet you maybe $50 that it’s good because you’re seeing ass cheeks getting clapped. [crosstalk 00:25:18].
Kenneth Ford: These are some bomb wings, period. [crosstalk 00:25:24]
Fabiola Jimenez: Y’all, I have ADD. I can’t focus on-
Mio Asami: It’s either wings or ass cheeks. [crosstalk 00:25:34]
Fabiola Jimenez: Or I’m seeing ass cheeks. When I’m going to a male strip club, like Silver Stallion.
Mio Asami: How did that come out so creepy? I [crosstalk 00:25:45] You mean like Thunder Down Under?
Fabiola Jimenez: Fuckin’ bet.
Mio Asami: I saw that in Vegas-
Fabiola Jimenez: You think I can focus on chicken wings? You think I’m going to have any sort of other thoughts than the thoughts that I am having as I’m watching Thunder Down Under? No, I couldn’t, I’d be slobbering, I’d just be like-
Mio Asami: Slobbering?
Fabiola Jimenez: Shit, my bad, I’m sorry. Getting chicken grease everywhere.
Mio Asami: The lemon pepper’s getting everywhere.
Fabiola Jimenez: The chicken pepper everywhere, between the cracks. It would just be the worst experience for the dancers. Not for me, for the dancers. Personally, I say no to this theory that strip clubs have the best chicken wings. You know what? We’ll just leave that up to debate. [crosstalk 00:26:27] Or Mio.
Mio Asami: Just comment. Comment on our stuff.
Fabiola Jimenez: Comment on our stuff-
Mio Asami: Let us know what y’all think. [crosstalk 00:26:35] chicken wings.
Kenneth Ford: King of Diamonds, [crosstalk 00:26:41] Treasures.
Fabiola Jimenez: What is that?
Kenneth Ford: Tootsie’s.
Mio Asami: Oh my god, Ken. Keep naming them, keep going.
Kenneth Ford: Blue Magic.
Mio Asami: Thomas has been silent the entire time.
Kenneth Ford: Magic City.
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah, Thomas has been silent this whole time.
Mio Asami: And Ken is going off.
Kenneth Ford: I just know these from rap songs and Drake’s ex-girlfriends.
Mio Asami: That’s true, I can’t blame you there.
Fabiola Jimenez: That’s not what your mom told me.
Mio Asami: Oh, she brought the mom into it. [crosstalk 00:27:16]
Fabiola Jimenez: I talk to everyone’s mom. Ask anybody [crosstalk 00:27:21].
Mio Asami: We’re about to throw hands up in here.
Fabiola Jimenez: All right, so I guess the final thought that I have on this is, what do you guys think will be the catalyst for the change? For [crosstalk 00:27:33] Yeah, for cannabis to be fully accepted in sports.
Kenneth Ford: You know, I think [crosstalk 00:27:43] I don’t necessarily think it will be the NFL or the NBA. It definitely won’t be Major League Baseball, because low key, nobody really knew what they were doing, anyway. I would say the NCAA.
Mio Asami: Oh, Interesting.
Kenneth Ford: If they decriminalize cannabis in their eyes, and allow student athletes to just partake and be a student like everyone else, then I think that will kind of carry over into the professional arena.
Fabiola Jimenez: Thomas?
Thomas Butcher: I think it’s just going to be society accepting it more and more. I know here in Seattle, seven years ago, if you would’ve drove around the city, or 10 years ago, or whatever it may be, you wouldn’t have seen all the retail pot shops on the corner. Now you drive around and you see one in certain zoning areas, and they’re on every corner, and you don’t even think about it. So I think it’s just as time goes on and we’re just more accepting as a culture, and younger people are getting older and they grew up where it was just normal, then I think everything will just keep changing. And then the leagues will just change, the leagues will just adapt. Because right now, kids who are in middle school or high school are playing basketball, and in 15 years from now, when they’re in the pros, they grew up and all they knew was that cannabis was normal or legal and not as taboo.
Thomas Butcher: So by the time they get there, I think things will just have changed. And I think we’re just on that natural progression. I do think, as we talked about star athletes, I think once star athletes get behind it, because they’re just really, the big movers and the game changers. And when you see them doing it or saying it’s okay, or a good thing, that has a bigger impact, whether it’s our political leaders saying something is good, bad, or our famous movie stars or athletes. Once they get behind something, it really moves the needle. I think there’s going to be some athlete down the road that’s going to be a game changer in a lot of ways that will really come out and be the face of it, and will be allowed to be the face of it.
Thomas Butcher: We haven’t had that opportunity yet, to have an athlete, or the leagues haven’t allowed for that athlete to really become…you see it on small levels here and there, [inaudible 00:30:14] reference like a Marshawn Lynch or somebody, Ricky Williams in the NFL, he’s been really open about it. But on the scale, it’s a little bit smaller, it’s not like a LeBron James or a Mike Trout, or Russell Wilson. If you have someone like that and they’re allowed to endorse it and talk about how positive it is, I think that’s really going to change a lot of things.
Kenneth Ford: Do you think it will come from LeBron James?
Thomas Butcher: Probably not LeBron [crosstalk 00:30:52].
Kenneth Ford: His son?
Thomas Butcher: His son, someone around that age, that’s still that young. And by the time, five or 10 years from now, someone like that. I don’t know that any pro athletes in any of the leagues right now will be that person. It’s going to be someone down the road. And it could start, like you said, with the NCAA allowing it. And then if there’s a college athlete five years from now, and then they go to the pros, we do it with someone like that.
Kenneth Ford: And you know why I say LeBron’s son?
Thomas Butcher: No.
Kenneth Ford: Because there’s a video of LeBron James, “Bronny” smoking a blunt.
Fabiola Jimenez: Oh, interesting.
Kenneth Ford: Yeah. It came out last year, around that time. The NBA was still under, what do they call it? Their bubble? Last season. And so LeBron was [inaudible 00:31:46] the bubble, video came out, Bronny was in it smoking a blunt. [crosstalk 00:31:49] And then everybody was, after Lakers won the championship, everyone was like, “Oh, is LeBron James going to finally whoop Bronny for smoking that blunt?” So I am curious, LeBron never confirmed nor denied his son smoking that J. We all saw the clip.
Mio Asami: Again, we’ve compared the cannabis industry and this movement as like prohibition, right? So for the longest time, prohibition of alcohol is just like, “Okay, we’ve overcome this hurdle, it’s become legal.” And then it took a lot of time for people to again, come to re acclimate it and re accept it. And I think we’re going through the same historical ebb and flow with the cannabis industry. So it’s going to take some of these big stars, it’s going to just take a little bit more time, but I think it’s coming. There’s whole industries, scientists, doctors that are solely dedicated to discussing the benefits of CBD and cannabis for your body, for your brain, for your overall wellbeing. So I think that can’t be ignored for very much longer.
Thomas Butcher: Yeah. If you look back in 2009, Michael Phelps, who’s this, [crosstalk 00:33:05] a poster boy for the United States [crosstalk 00:33:10], most gold medalist ever, really young. And then he got caught smoking, and everybody was “Shame on you, Michael Phelps, you have to go out and time out and stay in a corner.” We didn’t hear from him for a long time.
Mio Asami: A hot minute.
Thomas Butcher: And he was the hottest thing going for that whole year and summer, and obviously multiple other years that he participated in Olympics. But can you imagine if he was allowed to, once he got that, someone took a picture of him and shared it to try to shame him, but imagine if that was reversed and he was allowed to be himself, talk about how much training he does, but also how he uses cannabis in a positive way, and got that message out and was able to speak in that way. That would be so much different than what’s happening now. And that would really be something that would move the needle versus the “Shame, shame on you” shaming that was still happening back then. It’s gotten a little bit less, but I think that’s an example of an athlete that just got shut down when it came to cannabis. [crosstalk 00:34:11]
Fabiola Jimenez: It’s so shocking, right? It’s like, they had never seen that before, they hadn’t seen someone to that caliber come out and be outed as smoking weed.
Mio Asami: Because, what, 2009?
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah, it’s just so common. Some of the smartest people that I know, including lawyers, the scientists, engineers, smoke weed. So it’s-
Mio Asami: I mean, how many lawyers also do coke too? [crosstalk 00:34:33] So let’s also not pretend- [crosstalk 00:34:37] Yeah, but I mean literally 95% of Wall Street does coke. We all know this. We also [crosstalk 00:34:41]
Fabiola Jimenez: Because it’s about wealth. And I think, again, we’ve talked about this, marijuana for a really long time was really associated with the lower class and poor people and criminals. But you have this influx of these really luxe brands that are coming out. They have the joints with the gold in them. You have the $10,000, $15,000 joints that are around, you have the rose joints, you have all these beautiful, luxe items. Oh, and then the, is it the Bud Vase?
Mio Asami: Oh yeah, My Bud Vase.
Fabiola Jimenez: My Bud Vase also. Just these very luxe and beautiful items that are now coming to be associated with the cannabis industry. And it is just changing that perspective of, instead of weed being some lowlife type drug. It’s like, “Yo, if you want a good joint, it’s going to cost you a couple bucks here and there”. If you want a really nice bong, they can go for hundreds and thousands of dollars for custom made bongs, and so someone that’s living on the street is not going to be able to afford that type of luxury. And yet, the cannabis industry is slowly but rapidly moving.
Mio Asami: Yeah, because Michael Phelps, like I said, 2009, right? That’s before any state even legalized recreational. [crosstalk 00:36:00] Yeah. And how can you compete with that? How can you compete with such a gold medalist on such a different caliber?
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah. He was a fuckin’ fish. He’s probably still as a fish,
Mio Asami: But yeah. So this is where we’re at. I think there’s still hope we’re still a ways away from it, but we’re coming close.
Fabiola Jimenez: Yeah. All right. So thank you, Thomas. And thank you Ken for coming on today.
Kenneth Ford: Thank you for having me.
Fabiola Jimenez: Make sure to check out Thomas’ article. Where can we find that article, Thomas?
Thomas Butcher: On cannabisnow.com, still on the front page.
Mio Asami: Because it’s a hot topic.
Fabiola Jimenez: That’s right. So you know where to find us. You can find us on Facebook. You can find me on Instagram, @fabiatcultivalaw.
Mio Asami: You can find me, @mioatcultivalaw.
Fabiola Jimenez: Gentlemen, is there any place that the audience can find you-
Mio Asami: Any plugs for y’all?
Fabiola Jimenez: Any plugs for y’all?
Kenneth Ford: Other than the strip club. [crosstalk 00:37:01]
Fabiola Jimenez: Awesome. All right, gentlemen. Thank you so much. Someone bring these guys some chicken wings from the strip club.
Mio Asami: And me, because I got to try them.
Fabiola Jimenez: Until next time.
Mio and Fabiola (Together): Bye!