Activist Who Helped Legalize Medical Pot in California, Dies

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES: In this file photograph from 1996, Dennis Peron, founder of the Cannabis Buyers Club in San Francisco poses for the press standing behind a bowl of marijuana and marijuana-laden treats. (Credit: JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dennis Peron, an activist who helped legalize medical marijuana in California, has died at 72.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Peron died Saturday in a San Francisco hospital.

Peron was a force behind a San Francisco ordinance allowing medical marijuana — a move that later aided the 1996 passage of Proposition 215 that legalized medical use in the entire state.

Peron was among the first people to argue for the benefits of medicinal marijuana for AIDS patients as the health crisis overtook San Francisco.

The Chronicle said the epidemic took his partner, Jonathan West, in 1990.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors recognized Peron, suffering with late-stage lung cancer, with a certificate of honor last year.