Late last night, while most of America was asleep, Washington and Oregon faced off in a negligible Pac-12 battle. Tourney hopeful Oregon won the game, but Bill Walton stole the show.
Towards the end of the first half, Walton and booth partner Dave Pasch began discussing the dismissal of former Washington Huskies 7-foot center Robert Upshaw, the NBA prospect the Huskies have not won a game without. While Upshaw's dismissal was undisclosed, it's been widely speculated that he was dismissed for smoking weed and failing a drug test.
This subject clearly struck home for the Grateful Dead-loving Walton, who then went in on the NCAA's bullshit marijuana policy:
"I talk every week and complain about the NCAA not modernizing the rules. Thats another rule they've got to modernize. This whole war on drugs has been an absolute failure across the board. Somebody's got to step forward and were looking for Obama to step up and say 'why are we punishing people for things that are legal? why are people languishing in jail for things that are legal?'"
It's not a new, unheard argument, but Walton has ESPN's pulpit and he used it brilliantly. Even if Bristol's suits are currently stewing over a round of Jameson.
While typically unfair to speculate that any athlete or celebrity smokes weed, it's not exactly speculation that Bill Walton has at least tried the stuff. Along with Walton's clear fury at the drug war and support for players smoking pot, the man has been a quiet advocate for cannabis by simply looking like this while putting up double-doubles in the NBA:
And perhaps marijuana has allowed Walton to age so well:
If Walton had an Anthony Bourdain-style marijuana travel show, I would certainly tune in.