In the heated debate over the legalization of the little green plant, hundreds of thousands of cannabis supporters are fighting for the approval of medical-grade cannabis. What would the original people who kickstarted the original campaigns believe if they could see the world now? During the 1970s and ‘80s, many prominent people initiated media firestorms for their support of the mind-altering herb as an alternative form of medicine. Perhaps one of the most notable figures was Dennis Peron, a leading voice in the underground cannabis movement in San Francisco. Recently, members of his family announced the “Father of Medical Marijuana” had passed away at the age of 72. So, to gain a better understanding of this drug, let’s take a look at the life of one of its staunchest supporters. Here is how Dennis Peron sparked the fight for medical marijuana.

AIDS Crisis

Regardless of the potential health hazards to young children, marijuana is still a fascinating plant that has been explored by medical professionals and scientists for years. Many would attribute the popularity of this alternative medicine to activist Dennis Peron, who fought for the little green plant’s healing aspects. However, what ultimately inspired him to fight during the ‘80s was not a sense of civil disobedience but a feeling of social obligation.

During the ‘80s, the AIDS epidemic was sweeping across the country, and San Francisco was a hub for this terrible illness. Tragically, Peron’s partner Johnathon West died from AIDS in 1990, instigating Peron’s will to fight. In an interview, Peron explained hos West had crumbled into a shell of his former self but had found solace in one simple solution: marijuana.

Fight the Good Fight

HOW DENNIS PERON SPARKED THE FIGHT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANAAfter West’s death, Peron eagerly raised a collection of signatures for Proposition P, a citywide law that would permit the use of medical cannabis in San Francisco, which ultimately passed in November 1991. Five years later, Peron and his team fought for a similar statewide measure called Proposition 215, which received heavy backlash from political groups. Ultimately, Peron attempted to gather doctors, clergymen, nurses, and any other people who would provide an influential voice to the cause. Ultimately, 56% of voters approved Proposition 215, making California the first state to legalize medical-grade cannabis.

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