International Cannabis Business Conference

Bill Murray

Bill Murray
Bill Murray as befuddled pot-growing greenskeeper Karl Spackler in "Caddyshack."

Veteran comedic-actor and Saturday Night Live alumnus Bill Murray has played pot smokers in many movies (most notably Caddyshack), and was arrested and convicted for possessing nine pounds of marijuana in 1970.

Little is known about the bust, which took place at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Murray was expelled from Regis College after the arrest.



Born on Sept. 21, 1950 in Wilmette, Illinois, Murray followed his brother Brian to Second City in Chicago, where he met John Belushi, Dan Akyroyd and Gilda Radner, who would go on to become original Saturday Night Live cast members. He joined SNL in 1977, replacing Chevy Chase. 

Famous for such SNL characters as Todd (the dork) and Nick (the lounge singer), Murray soon starred in Meatballs and left the cast in 1980 - the year he appeared as Karl, the befuddled greenskeeper in Caddyshack. 

After lighting up a huge "Bob Marley joint," Karl tells Ty (Chase):

"This is s hybrid. This is a cross between Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent and Northern California Sinsimilla. The amazing thing abut this stuff is you can play holes on it in the afternoon, take it home, and just get stoned to the bejeezus at night on this stuff. I've got pounds of this stuff."



The same year Murray portrayed Hunter S. Thompson in Where the Buffalo Roam.

 He went on to star in Stripes, Tootsie, Ghostbusters, The Razor's Edge, Little Shop of Horrors, Scrooged, Ghostbusters II, What About Bob?, Groundhog Day, Mad Dog and Glory, Ed Wood, Kingpin, Larger Than Life, Wild Things, Rushmore, Cradle Will Rock, Charlie's Angels, The Royal Tenebaums, Lost in Translation and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, in which he plays the pot-smoking ship captain. In Broken Flowers, Murray inspects a joint and declares, "He’s right. It’s just cannabis sativa."



He's also appeared in Zombieland, Get Low, Moonrise Kingdom, Hyde Park on Hudson, The Monuments Men, The Grand Budapest Hotel and St. Vincent, and the TV mini-series, Olive Kitterridge, which he won an Emmy for.

Asked in an online discussion how he feels about recreational marijuana, Murray replied:

"Well, that's a large question, isn't it? Because you're talking about recreation, which everyone is in favor of. You are also talking about something that has been illegal for so many years, and marijuana is responsible for such a large part of the prison population, for the crime of self-medication. And it takes millions and billions of dollars by incarcerating people for this crime against oneself as best can be determined. People are realizing that the War on Drugs is a failure, that the amount of money spent, you could have bought all the drugs with that much money rather than create this army of people and incarcerated people. I think the terror of marijuana was probably overstated. I don't think people are really concerned about it the way they once were. Now that we have crack and crystal and whatnot, people don't even think about marijuana anymore, it's like someone watching too many video games in comparison. The fact that states are passing laws allowing it means that its threat has been over-exagerated. Psychologists recommend smoking marijuana rather than drinking if you are in a stressful situation. These are ancient remedies, alcohol and smoking, and they only started passing laws against them 100 years ago."

He co-owns four minor league baseball teams and three Murray Bros. Caddy Shack restaurants in Florida, regularly plays golf and wrote the book, Cinderella Story: My Life in Golf.

Murray's been divorce twice and has six sons from his marriages to Jennifer Butler and Margaret Kelly.

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf, co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and the former editor of High Times.