By John Dvorak
Special to Cannabis Daily Record
These are heady times indeed. Billions in legal cannabis sales, millions paid in taxes, thousands fewer arrested, medical moving mainstream and states growing hemp!
We are approaching critical mass thanks to the cumulative efforts of countless individuals, many who are no longer with us. As we rocket into the hempen future, we must remember those who sadly will never see what they started.
In 2015, Dave Wilkinson, one of Maine’s most dedicated and beloved cannabis activists, suddenly passed away, leaving a hole in my heart and in the movement that he cared so much about. When I attended cannabis events in Maine, Dave was there with a kind smile and sage advice. He exemplified the giving spirit and fierce dedication to freedom that so many of us have.
Others that have touched me over the years include the Hemperor, Jack Herer with his tireless campaigning and groundbreaking book, Michael Malta’s larger than life King of Pot (KOP) persona, the dogged determination of best selling author Peter McWilliams, Kentucky firebrand Gatewood Galbraith, Richard Davis and his USA Hemp Museum, Dr. Tod Mikuriya’s medical research, Cheryl Miller’s continued activism despite being immobilized by MS, Ben Masel’s freedom fighting in the Midwest, expatriate Eagle Bill vaporizing tourists in Amsterdam before vaping was cool, Denis Cicero’s out of this world hemp-centric Galaxy Global Eatery in Manhattan, Bike Mike Sutherland riding throughout China encouraging hemp enterprise and Canadian activist Michelle Rainey’s ubiquitous “Medicinal” slogan.
While these warriors passed before their time, it is especially hard when the youngest are taken from us.
Cashy, Spencer and Cyndimae, you are tiny icons that will never be forgotten. Your parent’s canna-courage helped you but couldn’t forestall the inevitable. Our tears of sadness and memories of good times strengthen our resolve to fight until all patients, farmers and prisoners are free to utilize cannabis hemp to its fullest extent.
(Left to right, top to bottom: Dave Wilkinson, Jack Herer, Michael Malta, Peter McWilliams, Gatewood Galbraith, Richard Davis, Dr. Tod Mikuriya, Cheryl Miller, Ben Masel, Eagle Bill, Denis Cicero, Mike Sutherland, Michelle Rainey, Cashy Hyde, Spencer Koptis, Cyndimae Meehan)