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Peter Lewis, Advocate Of Mj Legalization, Dies


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Peter Lewis, Advocate Of MJ Legalization, Dies

 

USA -- Peter Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance, died on Saturday afternoon at his home in Coconut Grove Florida apparently due to natural causes. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday on November 11.

 

Lewis was probably the country’s most high-profile billionaire backer of drug law reform. During the November 2012 election, he spent almost $3 million helping secure the passage of marijuana legalization bills in both Washington state and Massachusetts. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws estimated that Lewis had spent well over $40 million funding the cause since the 1980s.

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Those who seek to reform our country’s marijuana laws, (over half of the american population), lost a huge advocate this weekend with the passing of Peter Lewis.  Lewis was the CEO of Progressive Insurance and without his donations and strong support, it is likely that Marijuana, Medical or otherwise, would still be illegal everywhere.


It is estimated that Lewis spent around $40 million to fund legalization initiatives across the country since the 1980′s.  In an interview with Forbes Magazine in 2011, Lewis was quoted as saying, “Our marijuana laws are outdated, ineffective, and stupid.”  He also stated, “I don’t believe the laws against things that people do regularly, like safe and responsible use of marijuana, make any sense.”


Lewis first tried marijuana at the age of 39, and used it to help combat the pain that lingered after he had to undergo a partial amputation due to an incurable infection  at the age of 64.


In the November 2012 elections, Lewis spent around $3 million to fund the legalization bills in Colorado and Washington.  Without that funding, it is likely that those bills never would have passed.


Lewis will be dearly missed by not only his close friends and family, but by the entire medical marijuana community and the majority of Americans who, like Lewis, believe that our country has failed with its policy on marijuana and drugs in general.  Lewis helped change the lives of thousands, if not millions of Americans who have been helped by the use of medical marijuana.


Though Lewis has passed, we must continue to persevere, advocate, and demand that our country take a close look at the costs and benefits of keeping marijuana illegal.  The majority of Americans know that we have this whole thing backward, but if we don’t demand that our elected officials fight for change, little change will come.


If you support progressive change to our country’s policy on Marijuana, make your voice heard, and contact your representative.  If they receive even five calls relating to marijuana each day, that is enough to push the issue to the top of their docket.  Call your representative today in honor of Peter Lewis.  We must remind our representatives that our voice is just as powerful as a money.


List of All Michigan Representatives:  http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/frmRepList.aspx


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