|Photo: The Wow Report|
|Dennis Peron is co-author of Prop 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California.|
The man who opened the very first “pot club” in the United States for medical marijuana users is coming to Ashland, Oregon Tuesday night to speak in favor of legalizing cannabis.
Dennis Peron, known as the “father of medical marijuana,” is lending his support to full legalization in Oregon, reports John Darling of the Southern Oregon Mail Tribune.
Peron, 64, of San Francisco, was co-author and a major backer of California’s successful 1996 medical marijuana ballot measure, the first in the United States.
Peron is famed for his statement, “All use of marijuana is medical use.”
The passage of medical marijuana laws changed the image of cannabis from something used by “long-hair, hippie crazy” people to a drug of middle class people, Peron said.
“It helped make [marijuana use]more benevolent,” he said. “We turned the tide.”
Peron said the thrust of his work now is ballot measures to normalize marijuana distribution, so “you can get it at Walgreen’s” at affordable prices.
|“I do not know the future, but I do know that for one brief moment in history there was the Cannabis Buyer’s Club and it was about Love!” ~ Dennis Peron|
Alex Rogers, director of the clinic bringing Peron to Oregon, predicted backers of the state’s proposed ballot measure for a state-licensed, nonprofit marijuana supply system would get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in November.
Peron said enforcing existing marijuana laws costs the criminal justice system a fortune.
Also a gay rights advocate, Peron said he joined the effort to legalize marijuana when his partner was dying of AIDS and found that cannabis helped him, even when chemotherapy didn’t.
“When he died, I decided to dedicate my life to alleviate the suffering” of users, Peron said.
“I opened the [Cannabis Buyers Club] to serve the dying,” Peron said. “It was in the belly of the beast. The cops and the mayor supported me.”
Peron first became a marijuana dealer after returning from Vietnam to San Francisco in 1969. In the 1970s, he ran the Big Top marijuana supermarket out of his home. In 1993, he opened the Church Street Compassion Center in San Francisco’s Casto District. In 1995, he opened the first San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club.
Who: Dennis Peron, “father of medical marijuana”
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday
Where: Meese Auditorium in the Visual Arts Building at Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.
The free presentation is sponsored by Ashland Alternative Health, a local clinic that helps people obtain medical marijuana cards.