Billionaire Peter Lewis, marijuana policy financier, dead at 80


Peter Lewis, the 80-year-old billionaire founder of Progressive Insurance and major donor to marijuana-related causes, died over the weekend of natural causes.
It was with Lewis’s help that bills passed in Washington for recreational marijuana use and Massachusetts for medical use last year. According to Forbes, Lewis dropped nearly $3 million in 2012 for freeing the weed in one way or another.

Lewis, who used cannabis to help deal with pain after having a leg amputated when he was 64.
“I am a progressive by birth, by nature, by philosophy–that’s the name of the insurance company I ran as well, which is coincidental–but I am a small ‘p’ progressive,” Lewis told Forbes in 2011. “I don’t believe that laws against things that people do regularly, like safe and responsible use of marijuana, make any sense. ”
According to NORML, Lewis spent more than $40 million over the last thirty-plus years to help end marijuana prohibition. Lewis’s net worth at the time of his death was roughly $1.3 million.
A funeral is planned for Tuesday in Cleveland, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.