Category Archives: Obituary

In memory of cannabis activist Laura Kriho

By Sarah Haas – February 9, 2017

In September 2013, Boulder was soaking wet, but on the 23rd the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shined down on the bricks of Pearl Street. It was there Laura Kriho joined a group of cannabis freedom fighters who gathered to hand out hundreds of free joints amid spontaneous chants of “Free the weed!” As with any good protest chant its meaning wasn’t just literal, but symbolic of a bigger picture.

The weed given away that day had been in jail, actually locked in an evidence room for the past two years. When it was released to lawyer Rob Corry, he, Kriho and others in the activist community decided to give it away. They hoped to call attention to the marijuana tax issue appearing on the upcoming November ballot as Proposition AA, a marijuana tax hike to which they were staunchly opposed.

Kriho thought that Amendment 64 was already too strict and the additional taxes that would be instituted with Proposition AA were a step backwards, away from a free market and toward prohibition. Later that week, Kriho wrote about the giveaway in a guest column for “Weed Between the Lines” in Boulder Weekly: “This tax debate highlights what has become a very clear division between cannabis supporters. There are those who support an expensive ‘strict regulation’ model paid for by high taxes, and there are those who continue to support simple “legalization” with reasonable taxes and regulations.

“To most people, ‘legalization’ means that prohibition laws are repealed, people are no longer punished for cannabis use, and police resources are used to fight serious crimes. However, A64’s ‘strict regulation’ model does the opposite of this in many cases. The A64 model allows some people to have some marijuana at some times, but it continues marijuana prohibition for other people with other amounts of marijuana at other times.”

A cannabis activist in Boulder since 1992, Kriho didn’t just fight for legalization, but for “marijuana freedom” beyond regulation, taxes and industry. Whether working to legalize industrial hemp at the federal level in the mid-’90s, ushering in Amendment 20 to bring medical marijuana programs to Colorado in the aughts or for patient’s rights and adult-use cannabis in more recent years, Kriho was a staple of the front lines, fighting to liberate cannabis from prohibitionist laws and attitudes.

Friend, fellow activist and chairman of the U.S. Marijuana Party William Wayward Chengelis remembers the day he met Kriho, in 2008 at a Youth International Party rally taking place at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

“I’d heard about her before — I mean, when you look at hemp or cannabis in the state of Colorado, Laura’s been there since the beginning — she’s always been there,” he says. “And now that I’ve known her and worked by her side I can say that she always stood up for what she believed and never backed down, not once. She was a yippie through and through.”

A term from the ’60s for politically active hippies fighting for freedom and against war, Kriho wore the yippie badge proudly, but it wasn’t always easy. People didn’t always like her, even more people disagreed and still more categorically wrote her views off as unrealistic.

On top of that, she wasn’t successful half as much as she was unsuccessful. Her early federal hemp bills were killed in the Senate, year-after-year, the medical policies she espoused were disfigured beyond recognition by the time they made their way to state law and despite fighting against Amendment 64 because it was too regulated, too corporate and too prohibitionist, it passed. Even Proposition AA, which she sought to combat by handing out free joints, passed by a wide margin. And yet her influence cannot be overlooked nor her tenacity understated.

“One of the things about us yippies is that we get in your face,” Chengelis says. “Laura got in people’s faces. Sometimes she won, sometimes she lost, but she never gave up.“

For Kriho, there was no such thing as compromise and concession was not an option — she knew her stuff, knew what she believed in and didn’t temper herself in voicing her opinions. In many ways she was the epitome of Trump’s “nasty woman,” a term hurled as an insult but claimed as a heroic trait, and it is precisely in this spirit that she and her activism gain their most salient legacy.

“Her and I have two philosophies in life,” Chengelis says. “First, what you don’t know, learn. What you do know, teach.

“The other is: Show up, do the work and hope for positive results. That is where her and I met and that’s where we always agreed. You gotta get out there and you gotta do it. You can say whatever you want, but if you do not show up and do the work, nothing gets done.”

Surrounded by friends and family, Laura Kriho died on Jan. 30, 2017, in Boulder, at the age of 52.

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Dr. J. Thomas Ungerleider, a UCLA psychiatrist who was among the first researchers to prove the medical benefits of marijuana, has died.

 

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By Soumya Karlamangla

Dr. J. Thomas Ungerleider, a UCLA psychiatrist who was among the first researchers to prove the medical benefits of marijuana, has died. He was 85.

Ungerleider died in his home in Encino on Sept. 19 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said his son, John Ungerleider. 

In the 1970s and 1980s, Ungerleider ran clinical trials that demonstrated  marijuana’s therapeutic effects for patients with glaucoma and chemotherapy. He also served on President Nixon’s National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, which recommended decriminalizing pot, and became an early champion of treating drug addiction as a public health problem instead of a criminal one.

“He was a real pioneer,” said Dr. David Smith, his close friend and colleague who founded the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco.

Ungerleider was born in 1931 in Cleveland to Constance Levison and Harold Ungerleider. He graduated from the University of Michigan and attended medical school and residency at Case Western Reserve University. He then became a U.S. Army captain who served as a base psychiatrist at Fort Ord, Calif.

A few years after Ungerleider started as an assistant professor at UCLA in 1962, people began showing up in the psychiatric ward with hallucinations and anxiety, saying they’d taken a drug no one knew much about: LSD.

Ungerleider was asked to investigate. 

He began surveying people who dropped acid at love-ins and at Timothy Leary’s ranch in Orange County. He became one of the first researchers to document the adverse effects of LSD, during a time when people like Leary were advocating for its beneficial effects, Smith said. 

John Ungerleider said that when he was a teenager one of his father’s colleagues told him, “Your dad coined the term ‘bad trip’ for LSD.”

In the early 1970s, Nixon appointed Ungerleider to the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, often referred to as the Shafer Commission. The 13-member group traveled around the world for a year studying the effects of pot.

Surprising many, the commission concluded that marijuana wasn’t a particularly dangerous drug and that people shouldn’t be subject to criminal charges for possessing it, essentially making it legal for use in homes.

The idea that drug use is a public health problem, not a criminal one, was controversial at the time, Smith said, but it has become a blueprint for how we understand addiction today. 

Nixon ignored the commission’s recommendations and pushed forward with the war on drugs. 

John Ungerledier said his father had been a Republican, but because he so strongly opposed the government meddling in people’s private choices — in this case, regarding drug usage — he began sometimes voting for Democratic candidates.

“He really had a sense of that being wrong, even if he wasn’t somebody who liked to partake,” he said. 

Ungerleider went on to investigate the medical benefits of marijuana and learned that THC helped ease the negative side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and could also help reduce the eye pressure that leads to glaucoma.

He wrote in a 1999 paper that marijuana had a “limited but definite role in medicine,” and whether it’s appropriate for patients should be physicians’ decisions, instead of a legal standard.

“We never seem able to grasp the fact that no drug is inherently good or evil,” he wrote.

Ungerleider also ran treatment programs throughout the L.A. area for people with substance abuse problems and helped care for homeless with mental health issues.

Therese Andrysiak Van Hoof, who worked with Ungerleider as a nurse for decades, said he did a lot of hands-on work because he wanted to improve the lives of real people.

“He wasn’t a scholar’s scholar,” she said. “He met you where you were.”

While speaking on a panel in Woodland Hills in 1967, Ungerleider urged parents to empathize with their kids who wanted to try drugs. He didn’t think they were safe — he didn’t support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, his son said — but he didn’t think they should be so taboo.

“Kids get frightened when we don’t tell them what to explore and help them do it. I’m against our ostrich policy, hiding our heads in the sand, refusing to discuss drugs with them, and even forbidding them to discuss the subject. That’s terrible,” Ungerleider said, according to a Los Angeles Times article.

A girl in the audience then asked for his advice for someone who plans to take drugs.

“God help you,” he replied.

In addition to his son, Ungerleider is survived by his wife, Dorothy, his daughter, Shoshana Margoliot, six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

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RE: Erin Grossman Vu

ERIN 3

 

Ms. Erin Grossman Vu, a popular activist for medical marijuana in Kentucky passed from this life on April 10th, 2015.

She was born May 30th, 1974.  She was 40 years old.

She suffered from “congenital heart disease”.

She passed at home where she was staying with Henry and Debbie Fox since December 2014.

Kentucky Activist’s  lost a great partner in the fight for freedom from prohibition of Cannabis.

I first met Erin in 2010 when she and her Sister visited me in Louisville when I lived there.

Her funeral arrangements are being made at this time and the details so far are as follows:  (please

watch Henry Fox on Facebook for any updates).

 

Mike Whosoever Miller will be holding the services.

The services will be held at Newcomer Funeral Home at 7 pm Wednesday.

The address is:

235 Juneau drive, Louisville KY 40243.

If you need info or anything at all please call Henry Fox at 502-640-5609.

 

Your presence will be appreciated.

Donations to “Kentucky Cannabis Freedom Coalition”.

Ronnie Lee Smith

OBITUARY


ROLAND2

 

 

 

Ronnie Lee Smith, 47

Former Warsaw resident Ronnie Lee Smith died Thursday, April 3, in Colorado, after fighting leukemia. He was 47 years old.
Mr. Smith spent a lot of time traveling and doing comedy shows. He ran for sheriff in Gallatin County twice. He believed strongly in the medicinal effects of marijuana and was a well-known activist for the legalization of medical marijuana.
He is survived by one son, Thor Lester “T.J.” Finnegan of Warsaw; one daughter, Kristen Finnegan of Florida; three sisters, Rosie Navarro, Teresa Holt and his twin, Renee Gibson of Warsaw; one brother, Marvin Smith of Warsaw; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, William V. and Stella Smith; one brother, Lester E. Smith; one sister, Margaret F. Israel; and a nephew, Randy Allen Stewart.
A memorial service will be held Monday, April 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Warsaw City Building.
Garnett-New-McDonald Funeral Home in Warsaw is handling the arrangements.

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Death of Ronnie Lee Smith, aka Roland Duby surprises many activists

Above:  Better times, on the way to 2001 Reefer Rumble in Ohio, left to right is Brian McCullough, Cher Ford-McCullough, Richard J. Rawlings, Heidi Drake and RONNIE SMITH aka ROLAND DUBY.

Ronnie Lee Smith, better known as Roland Duby or Marijuana Man, passed from this life yesterday evening from Leukemia.

He was a Cannabis Activist who was a major player in the Cannabis Oil movement for Cancer.

With a single post on Facebook a Man who had fought the greater part of adult life for the Cannabis movement and had attested to curing many others who had been given up on by our healthcare system from cancer, did, himself succumb to cancer.

Lida Thompson

19 hours ago

I’m very sad to say that we’ve lost our friend and brother Roland Duby in his battle against Leukemia
RIP sweet friend

There were many activists who were “watching” his facebook page for hours leading up until the end posting messages and conveying their love and prayers to him.  And many messages left since then.

It is a major loss to Cannabis Activists all over the U.S. as him and his knowledge will be sorely missed by all.

He is survived by close family whom shall remain unnamed here for personal reasons, and many, many, friends and activists whom he influenced throughout the years who shall attempt to carry on the fight!

He was “MARIJUANA MAN”!

He was born and raised in Warsaw, Kentucky

Graduated Class of 1983 from Gallatin County High School in Warsaw, Ky

Graduated “Oaksterdam University” Class of 2010

He authored the following websites:

http://www.marijuanaman.com

http://www.bigfatpothead.com

http://www.potheadsofcomedy.com

Ronnie Smith ran for Sheriff in 2010 in Gallatin County Kentucky:

Kentucky Pothead Runs For Sheriff; Calls On Others To Do So

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TRIPS Through Reality – 04/03/14

Above:  Time 4 Hemp features Ronnie Smith

RONNIE’S CHANNEL ON YOUTUBE LINK

Ronnie Smith On Cannabis Hemp Oil Curing Cancer Short Film

Photo: Yesterday we lost a Wonderful guy and hard working Activist in Ronnie Smith Aka Roland A. Duby. Rest in Peace brother....

RELATED ARTICLES:

http://kentuckymarijuanaparty.org/en/news/78-latest-news/111-re-roland-duby-ronnie-smith

http://kentuckymarijuanaparty.org/en/news/78-latest-news/78-ronnie-lee-smith-incarcerated-for-cannabis-in-az

Note:  There is so much information out there on Ronnie Smith that I cannot possibly input it all here.  I encourage you to search out information on him if you are not already familiar.  Thank you.