Cannabis Communities Across America Celebrate the Life of Dennis Peron, Father of Medical Marijuana
Communities across America are celebrating the life of Dennis Peron (72-yrs old), a pioneering activist and Vietnam Veteran who helped to place San Francisco’s Proposition P into being. Proposition P passed in November 1991, with a voter majority to legalize cannabis-use within San Francisco city limits. Five years later, Mr. Dennis Peron became a co-author of Prop 215 which proposed a similar initiative to be taken statewide. Mr. Peron spent his final years battling lung cancer and growing and giving away medical cannabis on a 20-acre cannabis farm near Clearlake, CA. He and his partner were also operating a boutique bed & breakfast in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, often called the Castro Castle, which has been closed for some time now. Had it not been for Mr. Peron and others like him, our nation may not have the statewide liberties that offer patients a better quality of holistic therapy nor would consumers be able to enjoy safe access to tested products for therapeutic consumption. His legacy is one that will live on in the hearts of cannabis patients and connoisseurs and his fighting spirit is one that will continue to be an example throughout the San Francisco community.
Our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Dennis Peron. May he rest in peace.
The Fascinating Life of Dennis Peron
After researching the life and times of Mr. Peron, perhaps one of his most memorable quotes that I came across was, “I came home from Vietnam with two pounds of cannabis, and started a career that lasted 40 years.” Mr. Peron was drafted in 1966 and encountered his first cannabis experience in Vietnam. He returned to San Francisco after experiencing the Summer of Love, prior to his tour in the U.S. Air Force, and became a socialite in the Castro District and throughout the city of San Francisco. He is infamously noted for one of his arrests caused by a discovery uncovering 200 pounds of cannabis by the SF Police, of which we assume was for entrepreneurial purposes at the time. Mr. Peron went on to open The Island Restaurant located in the Castro District where it was noted to serve food, cannabis, and a variety of discussions over politics.
Therefore, the Castro neighborhood is notably recognized as a safe haven for its activists and HIV/AIDS patients during the 1980’s. After Mr. Peron lost his partner to AIDS, he became even more politically active and was pivotal in gaining the signatures required to place San Francisco’s Proposition P on the voting ballot. The success of Proposition P laid the foundation for the support that Mr. Peron was able to gain for the overwhelming success of Prop 215 at the state level only five years later in 1996. After such, Mr. Peron fought trial after trial defending his own charges and convictions, spoke out at many public hearings following wavering support from close political allies, and ultimately did everything in his last breaths to beat the odds against passing medical cannabis legalization and decriminalization. He had seen the benefits of cannabis consumption and what those benefits were doing for patients and for people who were looking for holistic advice. Mr. Peron believed wholeheartedly in the benefits of cannabis consumption with such conviction from what he himself experienced and witnessed, that he dedicated a large portion of his life to fighting for legalization of medical cannabis for all patients, so that they could have a fighting chance against the many of the ailments that cannabis can effectively relieve them from.
As I read article after article and citing after citing, I discovered a clear and evident message that I think Mr. Peron wanted everyone to realize, which was that his causes were unselfish, fueled by the means of love and compassion. Without knowing greater details regarding Mr. Peron, it’s no wonder why his spirit resonated enough to be called a father, a friend, an ally, an angel, and pothead within communities inside and out. If being a pothead enables you to become a pioneering activist, a friend amongst friends, an angel to ailing patients and loved ones, a hero to an international community, AND a diversified entrepreneur...then I say pass the James Henry. Without Mr. Peron, there may not exist another veteran entrepreneur with a fighting spirit and desire to provide safe, affordable access to patients and connoisseurs while ensuring that Mr. Peron’s legislative victories are not undone; but expanded.
Warmest Condolences and Wishes,
LTJG - USN, Veteran
James Henry SF