Longtime Michigan Cannabis Advocate Rick Thompson Dies Following Cancer Battle

Longtime Michigan cannabis advocate Dale “Rick” Thompson died on Monday following a battle with cancer. He was 57-years-old.

Full story after the jump.

Longtime Michigan cannabis activist Dale “Rick” Thompson died on Monday following a battle with cancer, MLive reports. Thompson was 57-years-old. 

Thompson began full-time activism for cannabis policy reforms in 2010 and, until he became too ill, hosted the Jazz Cabbage Café podcast, previously the Medical Marijuana Radio Show alongside Jamie Lowell and Ryan Basore.  

“Rick is righteous and he always stood up for what he believed in, no matter what. … He just checks off every box, as a person that loves his family, is righteous, has worked hard toward something they believe in and accomplishes important things. I learned a lot from him.” — Lowell to MLive 

Thompson worked with local governments to decriminalize cannabis following the passage of medical cannabis in 2008. He was a leader in the MI Legalize initiative that helped pass adult-use cannabis reforms in 2018. He had also served on the board of NORML since 2014 until stepping down when his health began to decline. He also served as the editor-in-chief from Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine and Compassion Chronicles.  

Thompson appeared on a 2018 episode of the Ganjapreneur podcast, saying he was able to remain a cannabis activist “by staying true” to his purpose and “completely devoting everything” he had.  

“If I had a nine-to-five job like most other people, I wouldn’t have been nearly as effective in architecting change, and in helping other people do the same,” he said in the interview.  

Thompson also worked for Basore’s Redemption Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to helping those negatively impacted by prior cannabis prohibition and prosecution. 

Robin Schneider, director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, noted that “Cannabis did not legalize itself.” 

“There were a lot of men and women who worked endlessly to change those laws,” she told MLive, “and Rick Thompson was one of those people.” 

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