"I find it quite ironic that the most dangerous thing about weed is getting caught with it” - Bill Murray
We enjoyed digging into this story - three things we didn't know:
- Bill Murray studied pre-med
- Even Bill Murray can make regrettable jokes
- Bill Murray has a criminal record
Buckle up for this little gem of a story
On September 21, 1970, Murray celebrated his 20th birthday, an occasion marred by an unfortunate turn of events. Following a family gathering in Chicago, where festivities ensued, Murray prepared to return to Denver and resume his pre-med studies at Regis College. While waiting to board his flight at O'Hare International Airport, a lighthearted remark about carrying two bombs in his suitcase to a fellow passenger proved to be a grave misstep.
The seemingly innocuous comment reached the ears of a vigilant ticket agent, prompting the immediate involvement of U.S. marshals. They meticulously searched Murray's luggage, uncovering not explosives, but rather five two-pound "bricks" of marijuana valued at $20,000 – a substantial sum in that era and significantly more today. Faced with mounting panic, Murray attempted to discreetly stash the illicit cargo in a locker. However, his efforts were thwarted as Chicago vice cops arrived promptly, leading to his apprehension.
In a desperate move, Murray managed to ingest a check from one of his "customers" before law enforcement confiscated his suitcase, a decision he later claimed saved the individual's life and reputation. Murray found himself charged with marijuana possession and was promptly summoned to appear in narcotics court the following day. The sensational bust even made headlines on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. Despite being a first-time offender, Murray escaped incarceration but was sentenced to five years of probation. Regrettably, his academic journey at Regis came to an abrupt end, as he, in consultation with his family, chose to withdraw before his criminal record could result in expulsion.