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Peter Tosh
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Born Winston Hubert McIntosh, young Peter grew up in the Kingston, Jamaica slum of Trenchtown. His short-fuse temper usually kept him in trouble, earning him the nickname Stepping Razor, after a song written by Joe Higgs, an early mentor. He began to sing and learn guitar at a young age, inspired by the American stations he could pick up on his radio. His career was cut short when he was brutally murdered during a burglary. Peter was raised by his aunt, even though his personality would have you believe that he raised himself. An extremely self-reliant, self-dependent entity, Tosh fought for those who could not fight themselves. He was a voice for those who had not the means, nor the… Read More
Jack Herer
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Jack Herer, sometimes called the Emperor of Hemp, is an author and advocate for the hemp and marijuana movements. In 1970 he wrote one of the seminal books on the history of hemp and marijuana prohibition. Herer also founded and served as the director of an organization named HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition). A former Goldwater Republican, Herer is now an outspoken pro-marijuana and hemp activist. He believes that the hemp plant should be decriminalized because it has been shown to be a renewable source of fuel, food, and medicine, and can be grown in virtually any part of the world. He has devoted his life to the support of cannabis, hemp and marijuana. Jack Herer is also the name… Read More
Melissa Etheridge
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Melissa Lou Etheridge (born May 29, 1961 in Leavenworth, Kansas) is an American rock musician. Etheridge has produced eight albums since signing her first major recording contract in 1987. Three of them have gone multi-platinum: Melissa Etheridge (1988), Yes I Am (1993) and Your Little Secret (1996). Two others went platinum and another gold. She has won the Grammy award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance twice in her career, for the song "Ain't It Heavy" in 1992 and "Come to My Window", in 1994. She is a Bruce Springsteen fan, and she has covered his song "Thunder Road" during live shows. Etheridge is also famous as a gay rights activist, having publicly come out as a lesbian during President… Read More
Angel Raich
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Angel McClary Raich has been permanently disabled since September 1995. Angel was one of 14 "medical necessity" patients that the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative was fighting for in the United States Supreme Court in 2001. Angel is a mother of two teenage children. Angel's children know more than anyone how medical cannabis brought their mommy back to them. According to Angel, "The hardest part of being disabled is watching the suffering in your children's eyes as they watch you endure such suffering with no end in sight." In late 1997, Angel's doctor felt cannabis would be an effective medication to treat her many complicated and complex medical conditions. Angel was in a wheelchair from January 1996 to August 1999. Cannabis… Read More
Ray Charles
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Ray Charles has the distinction of being both a national treasure and an international phenomenon. He started out from nowhere; years later finds him a global entity. Hundreds of thousands of fingers have hit typewriter and word processor keyboards telling and retelling his story because it is uniquely American, an exemplar of what we like to think is the best in us and of our way of life. The Ray Charles story is full of paradoxes, part and parcel of the American Dream. Rags to riches. Triumph overcoming tragedy. Light transcending darkness. The name Ray Charles is on a Star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame. His bronze bust is enshrined in the Playboy Hall of Fame. There is the… Read More
Mikki Norris
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Mikki Norris has been an activist for drug policy reform since 1989 when she formed the American Hemp Council along with her husband Chris Conrad. Over the years, they have traveled extensively to educate the public on the many uses of hemp, and to network and strategize with activists and businesspeople on how to advance the movement. In 1993, the couple moved to Amsterdam to design exhibits for and curate the Hash Marijuana Hemp Museum, which they updated in 2000. As community action co-coordinator for Californians for Medical Rights, she helped organize petitioners to qualify the medical marijuana initiative (Prop. 215) for the 1996 California ballot. In 1995, shortly after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, Norris decided to… Read More
Montel Williams
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Talk show host Montel Williams, who uses medical marijuana to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, could have received up to a year in state prison as a result of being caught with a small amount of marijuana in Detroit's Metro Airport Monday night. According to news reports, Williams was detained briefly after security screeners found that he was carrying a small amount of marijuana. He reportedly was fined $100 and allowed to board his flight to New York, where his nationally syndicated talk show is taped. A statement released by Williams' office indicated that he used marijuana on the advice of his physician to treat the chronic, constant pain caused by MS. "A large body of medical evidence has… Read More
Cheryl Miller
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Cheryl Miller, whose use of medical marijuana to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis turned her into a leading anti-War on Drugs activist, has died. She was 57. Miller passed away on June 7 in a hospital near Silverton, New Jersey. Funeral services were held in New Jersey, and her ashes were interred in her native Oklahoma. "The freedom movement has lost a very brave fighter," said LP Political Director Ron Crickenberger. "Cheryl continued to stand up for what's right long after she was able to physically stand. She did more as a bed-ridden invalid to speak out for the rights of patients than do most able-bodied activists." Miller used medical marijuana for relief from the pain of multiple sclerosis,… Read More
David Ford
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At his birth in 1928 in Ross, California, Dave Ford was blessed with extraordinary wit, energy, and initiative. By the time he graduated from high school he had already published his own newspaper, produced elaborate stage shows, created and hosted a popular radio show, and interviewed legendary Hollywood stars. He was eight when he first heard about "happy grass"—and was immediately confronted by two radically opposite views of cannabis. Ordinary people told him that marijuana eased pain and made them relaxed and peaceful. The government—and his father—told him it turned users into violent lunatics. His mother told him: find out for yourself. He did. He smoked his first joint at age 17—and in a single hour wrote the speech that… Read More
Pancho Villa
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One of our favorite revolutionary figures of the 20th century, Pancho Villa, is said to have smoked pot before going to battle to become mas valiente (more valiant). The term "marijuana" even comes from ballads sung by Pancho Villa and his army. William Hearst took the term directly from their lips to his yellow journalism propaghanda when he pushed for the prohibition of cannabis. La cucaracha, la cucaracha, Ya no puede caminar, Porque no tiene, porque no tiene, Marihuana que fumar. The song was adopted as Villa's battle hymn after his capture of Torreon and subsequent overthrow of the Mexican government because many of his men had smoked marihuana before going into battle, much like other soldiers drinking alcohol before… Read More
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