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Man Behind Colorado’s Recreational Marijuana Legalization Dies at 53




Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved recreational marijuana in 2012. Steve Fox, a longtime cannabis reform pioneer, passed away on April 13, 2021, according to his law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP.

Fox spent nearly 20 years working to overturn prohibition. He was instrumental in Marijuana legalization and the lead drafter of Colorado Amendment 64 — passed by voters on Nov. 6, 2012, and signed into law on December 10.

His colleagues think of him as a marijuana reform visionary. Fox’s “impatience with the status quo, prowess with policy and strategic gifts are evident in several aspects of the medical or adult-use marijuana marketplaces now online in a majority of states,” writes Janice Carter Brown for Law360.

Fox’s partners at VS Strategies issued a lengthy statement regarding his life, activism, passion, and professionalism. He is highly regarded among his peers as one of the first political professionals working in the marijuana advocacy sphere.

At a time when cannabis policy was just a blip on the political radar and most savvy up-and-comers were unwilling to dip a town into the space, Steve dove in headfirst.

Mason Tvert told NBC 9News that Fox wanted to have a decisive effect on the world. He and Fox worked together campaigning for Colorado’s marijuana legalization.

coloradoTvert said their work impacts consumers, those who work, and everyone who experiences benefits from the industry. He explains there are public health and safety benefits associated with the legislation. Tax revenue helps fund infrastructure like building schools.

Fox knew that Colorado was a special place — he believed Coloradoans were the ones to get the job done. He was right; the state was the catalyst for adult-use legalization.

As NORML’s Paul Armentano said: “Steve’s vision helped transform the mainstream narrative surrounding cannabis.”

Colorado and Washington paved the way toward the normalization of marijuana. States have joined the bandwagon legalizing cannabis — thanks to Steve Fox. Hopefully, his work will result in federal legislation overturning laws criminalizing marijuana.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


NBC News: Man at forefront of marijuana legalization in Colorado has died; by Liz Kotalik
NORML: NORML Remembers Steve Fox
Law360: Steve Fox, Leader In Cannabis Reform, Dies At 53

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Tony Webster’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Cathy Milne-Ware is a seasoned writer and editor. Her background: Journalism for online and print newspapers, new website content from the about page to blog posts, newsletters, book reviews, and social media content. She enjoys writing Health, Entertainment, and Political news stories.

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