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The Cannabis Industry Remembers Steve Fox

We have lost a true titan of the industry

A few days ago we lost a true titan of the legalization movement and a father of the cannabis industry when Steve Fox passed away, far too young at 53. Some readers may be familiar with Steve, as he played an integral role in nearly every major legalization development over the past twenty years. But many others may not be familiar with his name, because he was the rare person who never sought credit or the limelight, preferring to elevate those around him in public while always being more comfortable strategizing, organizing, and coordinating behind the scenes.

It is not hyperbole to say that Steve has done as much for this movement in the past two decades as literally anyone on the planet. Having come from Democratic politics to the Marijuana Policy Project in 2002, when making such a move was considered by most in the political establishment to be career-ending, Steve became the first full time marijuana lobbyist on Capital Hill. During his time at MPP he was lead strategist for nearly every federal and state marijuana policy development. He would go on to co-found Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation, the National Cannabis Industry Association, the Cannabis Trade Federation, become a partner at pioneering law firm Vicente Sederberg, and serve as an advisor to countless local, state, and national governments on the issue of marijuana policy reform.

But it was his work in Colorado that Steve is probably best known for. He was the lead author of Amendment 64, the ballot initiative that made Colorado the first state in the country to legalize, and served as campaign manager and chief strategist for that successful campaign. But few realize just how much thought, planning and effort went into getting Colorado to the point where it was ready to accept legalization.

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