Your occupation: I am currently retired, having spent the last 40 years in the
arena of social change focalizing on the inhumane and unjust marijuana laws. I
currently run a bed and breakfast out of my home, a stately Victorian house of
a bygone era, more than a business it keeps me connected to the world.
How has cannabis positively affected your life?
When I started
smoking marijuana at 17, the first time I didn’t feel anything, but the
second time I got so high that I got outside of my body, to look deeply at
myself and didn’t like what I saw. I was a slacker, stupid and self-centered.
Marijuana showed me self-analysis, for that, I feel it saved my life. It was
from the self analysis that allowed me to find my true self and
ultimately, my destiny.
How did you get involved in cannabis
I always knew marijuana
was a medicine, from my first experience with it. It was the AIDS (Auto-Immune
Deficiency Syndrome) epidemic that touched my heart, with all my friends coming
down with this strange illness that was at first called the GRID—an acronym for
Gay Related Illness Disease. Finally, my lover Jonathan West died of what was
finally called AIDS.
In the ‘70s, it was found
that marijuana relieved the nausea associated with chemotherapy—it was also
associated with what we fondly called the munchies. My friends were dying
from lack of nutrition called the Wasting Syndrome. It was John’s death that
set me on a course to legalize this valuable medicine for people with AIDS. It
helped Jonathan in so many ways; from stimulating his appetite and easing his
nausea from the drugs he was taking to just making him feel better with renewed
zest for life, that upon his passing, I was determined that I would remove the
prejudice that prevented people from using it.
This would be his eulogy,
that this young man’s death would set the course for what was to be Prop 215 in