Bill Walton is one of the most recognizable figures in all of sports. Considered by many to be the most dominant college basketball player of all time, Bill Walton won ‘College Player of the Year’ three times. Bill played for the UCLA Bruins and led them to two Division I titles during his college career. After moving on to the National Basketball Association (NBA), Bill Walton became a two time champion and was selected as the league’s ‘Most Valuable Player’at the end of the 1977-1978 season. Walton is in the NBA Hall of Fame, and was selected as one of the top 50 players in NBA history during the league’s 1997 season.
Walton has never held back his opinions, whether if its about his love for the Grateful Dead or politics. Something that Bill appears to be very passionate about is cannabis reform. During a recent ESPN broadcast Bill Walton was recently caught giving a passionate speech about reforming cannabis laws in America. The broadcast was coming back from a commercial and Bill was in mid reform rant. See the video below:
This is not the first time that Bill Walton has infused his opinions about cannabis reform into a national sports broadcast. During a 2015 University of Oregon Ducks and University of Washington Huskies basketball game Bill made his opinions known about the failed drug war. A clip from the broadcast is below, which also appeared on ESPN:
Bill Walton is clearly on the right side of history. Hopefully he officially joins the cannabis athlete movement and lends his voice more to reform efforts. Bill Walton has a massive following and is respected by everyone that he knows, which is a very long list of people. Every time he speaks about cannabis, minds are no doubt changed. A big hat tip to you Mr. Walton! Throw down those cannabis facts big man, throw them down!
The National Football League (NFL) considers cannabis to be a banned substance. The fact that the NFL prohibits cannabis use, but allows the use of various other substances that are much more harmful, is hypocritical to say the least. The NFL needs to have more compassion for its players. With NFL players suffering from chronic pain, and often times brain injuries, it’s time that the NFL got on the right side of history.
As it stands right now, there are 25 states that allow medical cannabis use, and four states that have legalized adult-use cannabis laws. Washington D.C. has approved both medical and adult-use cannabis laws. The upcoming election could very well see more states added to the list. So why doesn’t the NFL recognize that cannabis is medicine, and a safer alternative to alcohol, and permit its use? How do players feel about the NFL’s ban on cannabis, and cannabis in society?
ESPN recently conducted a survey asking NFL players questions about cannabis. Below are some of the questions along with the results. As you can see, there is overwhelming support for cannabis reform among current NFL players. The ESPN survey involved 226 players, including players from both the AFC and NFC:
Should medical marijuana be legal in all states?
Yes 71 percent
No 29 percent
Is it hard to beat the NFL’s testing system for recreational drugs?
Yes 33 percent
No 67 percent
Have you ever used marijuana to help with concussion symptoms?
Yes 17 percent
No 83 percent
Have you ever had a teammate who you think became an addict because of NFL painkiller abuse?
Yes 42 percent
No 58 percent
What would you rather use if both were allowed by the NFL: Toradol** or marijuana?
Toradol 57 percent
Marijuana 43 percent
Do you worry about the long-term effects of painkillers?
Yes 59 percent
No 41 percent
If marijuana were an allowed substance, would fewer players take painkillers?
Yes 61 percent
No 39 percent
Which is better for recovery and pain control: marijuana or painkillers?
Marijuana 41 percent
Painkillers 32 percent
Neither 27 percent