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obituaries

Sister Somayah Kambui: early visionary of cannabis equity

Posted on February 4th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Sister SomayahToday equity is a watchword in the cannabis legalization movement, with state and local governments intentionally crafting models for an adult-use market designed to correct the social harms of prohibition and the war on drugs. But this consciousness is due to the work of many who pushed the issue long before doing so was entirely socially acceptable. Sister Somayah Kambui, a veteran Black Panther turned cannabis advocate, was one of those. And before her untimely death, she won  a groundbreaking "jury nullification" victory, upholding her right to provide cannabis to treat sickle-cell anemia.

Legendary Emerald Triangle freedom fighter BE Smith passes on

BE SmithThe Emerald Triangle mourns the passing of BE Smith, the legendary Trinity County grower who did time in federal prison for openly cultivating cannabis under California's medical marijuana law—throwing down the proverbial gauntlet to Washington DC from his mountain homestead. His bold action put the Justice Department on the spot, and helped prompt a change in federal policy.

Paul Krassner, counterculture satirist and Yippie co-founder, dead at 87

Posted on July 23rd, 2019 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Paul KrassnerPaul Krassner, the legendary underground-press publisher, counterculture comedian, and the man credited with naming the Yippies, died July 21 at his home in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. He was 87 years old, and still active in radical press endeavors.

Dennis Peron, 'Father of Medical Marijuana,' dead at 72

Posted on January 29th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

Dennis PeronLongtime California cannabis crusader Dennis Peron, who probably did more than any other one human being to bring about legalization of medical marijuana, died Jan. 27 at a San Francisco veteran's hospital, following a battle with lung cancer. He was 72. Peron was the prime mover behind San Francisco's Proposition P, the 1991 voter initiative that made the city the first government entity in the US to officially embrace medical marijuana, deprioritizing police enforcement for medicinal users.

Rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker dead at 65

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Gilbert BakerGay pioneer and artist Gilbert Baker, famous as creator of the iconic Rainbow Flag, died in his sleep at age 65 on March 31 at his home in Manhattan. Baker's first flag was an eight-colored banner that flew above the 1978 Pride festivities in San Francisco—then the Gay Freedom Day Parade. Baker, well known for making banners for gay and anti-war street protest marches, created the flag at the behest of his friend Harvey Milk—the gay community leader later elected a San Francisco supervisor, and assassinated that November. The flag has since become a global symbol of the LGBT community—raised at pride festivals worldwide, and forever flying over the corner of Castro and Market streets.

Marijuana minstrel David Peel passes on in New York City

Posted on April 8th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

David PeelNew York's most famous street musician, David Peel, passed away April 6 at the age of 73. Peel suffered a massive heart attack and went into cardiac arrest on March 31. He was being treated in the ICU unit at the VA Hospital in Manhattan. Friends gathered to pay respects to the singer, who lit up the Lower East Side with his humorous protest tunes since the late '60s.

Merle Haggard, redneck icon who embraced cannabis, passes on

Posted on April 6th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Merle HaggardCountry music legend Merle Haggard died at his ranch near Northern California's Lake Shasta on April 6, his 79th birthday. Haggard had the hard-living authenticity that helped make him an icon for the working folks of rural America. Of Okie stock, he grew up in Bakersfield and came up as a musician in the Central Valley town's local honkytonk scene—before actually turning 21 in San Quentin State Prison after a burglary conviction in 1957, as immortalized in his famous hit "Mama Tried." Unlike what the lyric said, however, he wasn't "doing life without parole." He was paroled in 1960, returned to his music career, acheived success, and was granted a pardon in 1972 by California's then-governor (and fellow conservative icon) Ronald Reagan.

Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane's lead pilot, flies on...

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Paul KantnerPaul Kantner, co-founder of the Jefferson Airplane and a pioneer of the San Francisco music scene in the 1960s, died Jan. 28 at the age of 74. He had suffered a heart attack earlier in the week, according to his longtime publicist and friend, Cynthia Bowman.

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