It is with a sad heart that I report that longtime Oregon marijuana activist Jim Klahr passed away. Jim was the epitome of a freedom fighter, and embodied everything that a marijuana activist should be. Below is a reaction that I think captures how the entire Oregon marijuana community feels about Jim, per another amazing activist Jennifer Alexander:
Just learned that Jim Klahr passed away - this man was a hero to many Oregonians, and like Russ Belville points out, the real tragedy is that Jim couldn't use medical marijuana despite it being so much more beneficial for his condition - because to do so would have disqualified him for a very necessary liver transplant. For many years, he has had to use pharmaceuticals that cause even more harm to the liver, just to protect his ability to eventually maybe get a liver transplant. I heard he was in the hospital the day we passed legalization, and hanging on praying for a liver transplant after his health had dramatically declined.
He lived to see it pass - legal marijuana here in Oregon. But what a tragedy that a man who fought so hard to protect medical marijuana patients and reform our laws couldn't even benefit from the medical marijuana that Oregon had long ago approved. He is the image of why many of us are still fighting and will continue to fight to change our laws even now with legal marijuana in Oregon. We have a LONG way to go.
We'll miss you Jim!
Another reaction, this time from the head of the successful Measure 91 campaign in Oregon, Anthony Johnson:
Rest in peace, @JimKlahr, a freedom fighter prohibited from using cannabis while waiting on a new liver. Glad he saw @VoteYESon91 win. #mmot
Veteran marijuana activist Lee Berger's reaction courtesy of Oregon Live:
"He was a sweet, gentle man," said Berger. "He was a hero among advocates for the patients and for medical cannabis generally."
And Michael Bachara via Hemp News:
Musician Jim Klahr, an activist working to establish cannabis as an option for healthcare providers in the United States and a pre-transplant patient at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU), passed away awaiting a liver donor at OHSU on November 9, 2014.
Days earlier, on November 4, 2014, Oregon residents voted to end marijuana prohibition with Measure 91. In the campaign's declaration of victory, Anthony Johnson, the chief petitioner of the measure, thanked Klahr for his dedication and commitment to the issues surrounding cannabis.
As a long-time Oregon medical marijuana activist Klahr continually expressed the need for cannabis advocates to run for political office to have their voice and views represented within the legislature.
There are many, many more messages out there from just about everyone from the Oregon community. There was a lot of love and respect for Jim, and there always will be. Jim Klahr is likely now hanging out with Jim Greig, they are rocking out hard and talking the toke no doubt. I'd give anything to hear their conversation about the passage of Oregon Measure 91, something that both men worked very hard for and contributed to with their years of service on the front lines of activism. R.I.P. Mr. Klahr. You were a hero to many, and we will all remember you forever!