Ricky Williams is one of America's great Weed Martyrs.
As a running back for the Texas Longhorns, he not only ran for six touchdowns against Rice, but hung 150 yards on the then-fearsome 'Huskers. He won the Heisman and was the target of one of the NFL's all-time draft trades, when then-Saints coach Mike Ditka gave up the rest of his draft for Williams—which ended up OK given that the 1999 draft class was among the weakest in history.
But Williams is best remembered today for his unapologetic cannabis use and the suspensions that followed. The suspensions always seemed to hit when he was getting some momentum. If Ricky had been able to medicate himself properly, who knows what he might have done in the league. Wreck it, perhaps? Instead, he suffered the indignities of playing in the Canadian league, and for the Dolphins.
Williams has since stopped smoking, but he's not giving up his association with cannabis. In fact, he's in Portland today for a business conference.
Right now, the Portland Marriott is home to a conference put on ArcView, a Caifornia-based weed investment group matching weed biz investors with entrepreneurs.
The event drew 200-plus people, mostly from out of state. They've been visiting dispensaries and grows and hearing pitches from companies seeking funding including Women Grow organizer Sara Batterby's Hi-Fi Farms.
Which all sounds great. But, mostly, we just want to sneak in and hear some Ditka stories.