John Walsh will live in the hearts and minds of marijuana reform activists forever. I never met John, but I heard about his awesomeness way before I co-founded this blog in 2010. There is a celebration of life for John this Sunday in Portland. Below are the details, via the event’s Facebook page:
“We Gotta Get Organized!” John Walsh, Freedom Fighter, 1955-2016
On January 3, the cannabis community lost a colorful and dedicated freedom fighter, John Walsh. Join us on Sunday, January 17th from 4:00pm-6pm at The Other Spot, as we celebrate the life of the man known as “Prohibition’s Worst Enemy”.
For decades the 60-year-old activist, originally from Rhode Island, had been involved with student groups on the University of Oregon campus, including the Survival Center and the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH). Most of Walsh’s days were spent at the university, trying to register students to vote and to advocate for legalizing marijuana.
Walsh single-handedly acquired more volunteer signatures in favor of the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in Oregon than any other person.
Walsh was not only known on the U of O campus but is well-known around Oregon and the United States for his marijuana activism. News of his passing has quickly spread across the cannabis community. Many fellow activists have expressed condolences and gratitude for Walsh’s lifetime commitment to freedom.
Walsh was the leading volunteer signature gatherer for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, a cannabis initiative known as Measure 80, which received over 47 percent of the yes vote in 2012. He contributed signatures for Oregon Measure 91, which ultimately passed in 2014. Walsh also diligently gathered signatures on Measures 57 and 67 in 1998 and Measure 74 in 2010.
For his tireless efforts and unparalleled achievements in the history of Oregon cannabis petitioning, John Walsh was the 2009 recipient of the Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards Freedom Fighter of the Year Award.
*A “Eugene Celebration” for John is being planned. More information TBA.
Remembering John Walsh
“John was one of the most dedicated, tenacious, and relentless activists you could ever know. He was prohibition’s worst enemy.” Vivian McPeak, Seattle Hempfest Director
“It was John that originally introduced me to SSDP during my Freshman year in college. Thank you for everything you have done to make this world a better place.” Sam Chapman, Former University of Oregon President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
“RIP, John Walsh. Thank you for all your selfless work and hustle to end the war on drugs.” Bradley Steinman, Attorney
“John Walsh placed an ad on a bulletin board at the U of O to form a NORML chapter. I attended the first meeting and have been a re-legalization activist ever since. We decided against forming a NORML chapter at that time and formed our own group, the Cannabis Liberation Front. He lived for his political work. I’ll miss him greatly.” Danford Koozer, Cannabis Liberation Front
“He was a gem and an amazing activist!” Scott Gordon, Portland NORML
“We lost a tenacious warrior in John Walsh.” Anna Diaz, Parents 4 Pot
“Unparalleled tenacity and dedication to ending prohibition defined his life and his passing is our great loss.” Leland Berger, Attorney
“John was the rare human being who would always tell you the truth, whether you wanted to hear it or not. In that way he was a true friend. I will miss him as an activist, but I will miss him more as a friend.” Paul Loney, Attorney
“Blessings and prayers for you John. You helped so many, and stood for liberty and justice your whole life. No one EVER said John Walsh did them wrong. He was a blessing for everyone he met. I will miss you John.” Paul Stanford, Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH)