America Mourns Passing of Dennis Peron, Father of Medical Marijuana | Leafly
Saturday, Jan 27, 2018

Numerous reports out of San Francisco are confirming the passing of Dennis Peron, 72, the legendary cannabis activist who kindled America’s medical marijuana revolution in the 1980s.

Peron’s brother, Jeffrey Peron, posted this on his Facebook page earlier this afternoon:

“Changed the world” is a phrase entirely befitting the life of Dennis Peron.

Peron was one of the first to realize the health benefits cannabis was offering to AIDS patients.

As a leading figure in San Francisco’s gay culture and cannabis underground in the 1970s and 1980s, Peron was one of the first to realize the health benefits cannabis offered to those battling AIDS in the heart of the crisis that overtook that city in the late 1980s.

Working with other local leaders like Mary Jane Rathbun (“Brownie Mary”) and Dr. Donald Abrams, Peron helped pass an ordinance legalizing medical cannabis in the city of San Francisco, then took the movement statewide with the 1996 passage of Proposition 215, the nation’s first statewide medical marijuana legalization law.

Peron and his husband, John Entwistle, continued to be active in the life of San Francisco over the past 30 years.

'I came home from Vietnam with two pounds of cannabis, and started a career that lasted 40 years.' Dennis Peron Peron tried to join communes, 'but they wouldn't have me. I was too trashy.' Dennis Peron, takes notes during an interview on the phone, while Gary Johnson lights a marijuana filled pipe in an office at the Proposition 215 Headquarters, formerly the Cannabis Buyers club on Friday, October 11, 1996 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Peron Robinson) 'I knew I had to get everybody' involved in the Prop. 215 campaign, Peron said. 'Clergy, doctors, nurses. I almost had to cut the potheads loose. Too much cultural baggage.' Dennis Peron, Campaign organizer, California's Prop. 215