He was my teacher, partner, and friend; the most honorable man, and the bravest freedom fighter Ive ever known.
He taught many of us how to save the Earth from ourselves and to laugh at and yet love its enemies.
In 1974-75, possession of under an ounce of hemp/pot was decriminalized in the state of California. Captain Ed (pictured above at right, with the author at the 1990 Minnesota Rainbow Gathering) was 33 years old and I was 34. We took a pledge. At that time, virtually every one in the California pot movement thought wed already won. Theyd begun to drift away from the movement and had gone back to their lives, thinking the battle was over and wed won, and that the politicians would clean up the loose ends
Captain Ed didnt trust politicians to get the job done. And he was right.
Eds pledge that I took in 1974 and again in April 1980, 1986, and 1988, and finally in the hospital four days before he died in August 1991, was that wed swear to work every day to legalize marijuana and get all pot prisoners out of jail, until we were dead, marijuana was legal, or we could quit when weturned 84. We wouldnt have to quit, but we could.
When we first made that pledge we were 50 years away from becoming octogenarians (80-year-olds, that is). Incredibly, we thought that in the light of all the amazing information we had uncovered about hemp, that the battle for complete legalization of cannabis would easily be over in six monthstwo years at the most
Captain Ed gave us and me hemp as one of mankinds most honorable and most important saviors. I vow to continue the fight, and I ask my fellow Californians, all Americans, and the rest of the world to join us.
July 15, 1998
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