It is with great sadness that I am posting this article. Peter Lewis died yesterday at his home in Florida. Peter Lewis had donated over 40 million dollars to marijuana reform efforts since the 1980's, and had recently made a donation to the Oregon legalization campaign. He was one of the greatest men the marijuana movement has ever known.
Peter Lewis created an insurance empire as the CEO of Progressive Insurance. Estimates of his overall wealth were well over one billion dollars. Peter Lewis was a rare gem in the marijuana movement, putting his money where his mouth was, donating large sums of money to help end marijuana prohibition. It's reported that he was inspired to support marijuana reform after using it to alleviate pains associated with a partial leg amputation.
"I don't believe that laws against things that people do regularly, like safe and responsible use of marijuana, make any sense," Peter Lewis once told Forbes. "Everything that has been done to enforce these laws has had a negative effect, with no results."
What would the marijuana reform movement be like without the donations from Mr. Lewis? Would Colorado and Washington have legalize marijuana without his generosity? Probably not, in my opinion. Political victories take a lot of money, and without Peter Lewis' donations, who knows what marijuana laws would be like in many states in America. It is my hope that the movement is able to carry on the vision of Peter Lewis, and that we don't ever let him down. Thank you Mr. Lewis, from the bottom of my heart. The world is a better place because of your efforts. Rest in peace.