Bill Walton Calls Drug War an 'Absolute Failure'

Former NBA great and longtime Grateful Deadhead, Bill Walton.

While broadcasting an Oregon-Washington college basketball game on ESPN2 on Feb. 4, NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton criticized the NCAA's drug policy in reference to Huskies center Robert Upshaw, who was booted from the team for violating rules. Walton apparently took this to mean Upshaw failed a drug test for marijuana. 

'You know how I talk every week, complain about the NCAA not modernizing the rules? That's another rule they've got to modernize. This whole War on Drugs has been an absolute failure across the board. We're 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? Look at the front page of the Register Guard right here in Eugene today, addressing that same exact point.'

He was most likely referring to an article about a hearing held by the Oregon Liquor Control Board regarding the regulation of marijuana in the Beaver State. Oregon voters legalized it in November. 

Walton, who won an NBA title with Portland in 1977, is widely known for his love of the Grateful Dead. He had a great college career with UCLA before being drafted by the Blazers. Walton averaged 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds during his 10 years in the NBA.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.