Steve Deangelo

EconomyPosted by
Rolling Stone

Steve DeAngelo, the ‘Father of Legal Cannabis,’ on What’s Next for the Movement

Steve DeAngelo has been doing this for a long time. The man affectionately known as the “father of the legal cannabis industry,” a distinction given by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, began advocating for legalization all the way back in the 1970s. Little did he know then that the following decade Ronald Reagan would hamstring the movement by demonizing the plant and using it as a pretext to lock up hundreds of thousands of people of color. The tide began to turn in the late 1990s, after medical cannabis was legalized in California. That’s where, in 2006, DeAngelo founded Harborside, a pioneering dispensary, and, a year later, Steep Hill Lab, the nation’s first commercial cannabis testing lab. His latest venture is the Last Prisoner Project, a group committed to releasing every last person incarcerated for cannabis. “We know there’s 40,000 cannabis prisoners in the United States,” he says. “We don’t even know how many of us are locked up all around the world.”
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