Freedom Fighter of the Month
October 2010 – Richard Lee
Proposition 19, Oaksterdam university
By Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator
Next month, Californians will be voting to legalize marijuana. It wouldn’t be possible if not for the hard work of our Freedom Fighter of the Month, Richard Lee.
Richard Lee is best known as the founder of Oaksterdam University in Oakland, where classes in cannabis cultivation, law, science, and activism are taught to thousands. He also is the proprietor of Bulldog Coffeeshop, a medical marijuana dispensary modeled after the coffee shops of Amsterdam. But most of all, he is the primary force behind The Regulate, Control, & Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 – the initiative to legalize marijuana in California
The Tax Cannabis Act would legalize the personal possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for all adults. Californians aged 21 and over would also have the right to cultivate a twenty-five square foot marijuana garden. The Act would also allow local governments the option of regulating the commercial production and sales of marijuana. The Act would keep Proposition 215 intact so patients would lose none of their current rights.
A spinal cord injury two decades ago put Lee in a wheelchair, but that seemed only to motivate him to greater accomplishments. He moved to California where he qualifies for protection from arrest for his marijuana use; however, rather than being content with the financial windfall of his businesses and his personal medical marijuana rights, Richard Lee put his money where his mouth is. Lee has been fighting for full legalization since 1992 and put millions of his own dollars into the campaign to get the Act on the ballot. Since then he’s spoken on numerous television and radio programs and given countless news and web interviews in support of the Act, giving the public a genuine portrait of how successful and generous we cannabis consumers can be. Thanks, Richard!