In honor of all the drug policy reform activists who worked so hard, but did not live to see the day of freedom and realization. They are true heroes of liberty and justice.

Page 1: Don Topping, Cheryl Miller, Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm, Peter McWilliams, Genie Brittingham Erstad, Joe Hart, Ian Hunter, Robert Randall, Gil Puder, Jim Rosenfield

Page 2: Laura Carden, Robert Lunday, Norm Major, Ralph Seeley, Ken and Barbara Jenks, Kirk Hampton, Keith David Whitaker, Roland Heyne Jr., Christie Bohling, Tom Forcade

Page 3: Eddie Smith, Brownie Mary Rathbun, Tom Flowers, Buddy the MIA POW, Steven Smith, Steve Michael, Alan Martinez, Rufus King, Bob Basker, Hazel Rogers

Page 4: Ron Crickenberger, Judith Cushner, Mary Gennoy, Cecilia Franceschini, Kioshi Kurimaya, "Pope" Micky,

Ron Crickenberger

Libertarian drug policy reformer Ron Crickenberger being arrested in a 2002 protest against federal raids on California medical marijuana patients.

One thing Ron Crickenberger knew for certain was that he didn't like either of the major political parties or what they are doing to our Constitutional liberties. Crickenberger died of metastic melanoma (skin cancer) at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2004, less than two months after being diagnosed with the disease.

Crickenberger, 48, was Libertarian Party national political director from 1997 until 2003 and made ending drug prohibition a central plank in the party's platform. With Crickenberger at the helm, the number of Libertarians holding elected office more than tripled, from 180 to about 600, and the party set new records for candidates on the ballot in both 2002 and 2002. Ron himself was one of that number in 2000, when he campaigned for Congress in his home district in Northern Virginia. Before joining the staff in Washington, DC, Crickenberger was a member of the Libertarian National Committee, the party's governing board, from 1989 to 1997.

Crickenberger was a big supporter of medical marijuana in particular, being arrested in a civil disobedience action at the US Department of Justice in Washington DC in June 2002. Ron also produced the Cheryl Miller/Bob Barr ad and otherwise championed the cause of medical rights.

Ron, and was a Georgia native who lived in Falls Church, Virginia with his partner of 12 years, Noelle Stettner. Ron had two adult children, a son, Jason, and daughter, Anna. He also had a week-old granddaughter, Sabrina, that he got to see before he died, living in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

Crickenberger was a warrior for the causes he cherished, a tireless soldier in the fight against marijuana prohibition, and a man who walked his talk. He was also fun to spend time with at the drug policy conferences and conventions that he attended. Ron Crickenberger will be sorely missed by all who worked with him and admired his efforts.

For more about Ron's role in the drug reform movement, click here.

For the Advocates for Self-Government's memorial to Ron, click here. (Has more links.)

Judith Cushner

California. Died of cancer January 31, 2004

Judith Cushner was the preschool director of Laurel Hill,, spokesperson / advocate for the medical marijuana cause, and the patient plaintiff in the Conant case. She and her physician, Dr. Conant, sued the office of the Drug Czar for threatening to take the medical licenses of doctors who recommended medical marijuana or even discussed it with their patients. The Drug Policy Alliance fought her case through the appeals process. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the First Amendment right to free speech protected conversations between physicians and patients, the US Supreme Court chose not to hear the federal government's appeal and let the ruling stand, as is presently the case.

In 1990, during radiation and chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer, she found relief from nausea by using marijuana. The experience led her to become active in the medical marijuana movement, for which she became a key spokesperson.

In 1996, her efforts helped to pass Proposition 215, which allowed California patients to use marijuana with their doctor's approval. She was featured in an ad campaign for the initiative, and was frequently interviewed about her experiences and the benefits of medical marijuana. She looked directly into the camera and admitted to millions of people, "I want to tell you a secret. When I had breast cancer the chemotherapy was so awful, the nausea, the vomiting, the pain. I broke the law and got marijuana. It worked. I could eat…Proposition 215 allows cancer patients to get marijuana without becoming criminals. Vote yes on Proposition 215. Someday, you might need it."

Judith Cushner is survived by her husband of 34 years, John; her daughter, Aviva; her son, Ari; and her mother, Esther Smith; all of San Francisco. Judith's husband, John, asked people to send donations in her honor either to the Drug Policy Alliance, 2233 Lombard St., San Francisco 94123, or Laurel Hill Nursery School. For more information go to:

Read Marsha Rosenbaum's obituary to Judith at the DPA website. Photo by Anjuli Verma.

Mary Gennoy

California. Died following surgery, Sept. 5, 2004

Small in stature but a giant among medical marijuana advocates, Mary Gennoy suffered from the lifelong side effects of her mother's radiation treatment undertaken while pregnant. Mary was born July 11, 1951, hard of hearing, lacking forearm bones, missing some fingers and toes and suffering from numerous health problems, including chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis. She suffered miserably but always managed to rise to the occasion and elicit a smile from those around her. Her diminuitive stature and visible ailments set her apart even among the San Francisco scene, where she was an icon in the Castro district and in City politics, including a run for county supervisor.

The 4'6" Mary did not limit her political activism to the medical use of marijuana, however. She was an environmentalist who supported the restoration of industrial hemp. She was a civil rights activist for disabled rights, gay rights and the right of adults to use marijuana without criminal penalties. The feisty advocate of patient rights was active in the San Francisco Prop P campaign, the California Prop 215 campaign and was a regular at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, where she often rode on the back of a friend's motorcycle for the "Dykes on Bikes" contingent.

"She never felt sorry for herself," fellow SF activist Dennis Peron said. "She said, 'This is the body I've geen given, and I'm going to go with it'." Mary was a fighter and a personal friend to many of the local cannabis reformers, along with Peron, Brownie Mary, Hazel Rogers, Bob Basker, and other luminaries of the 1990s medical marijuana scene in the City. She died Sept. 5, 2004 at age 53, due to complications after throat surgery.

Cecilia Franceschini-Barboni

California, Died September 2004

Owner, along with her husband, Tony Barboni, of one of the oldest and most successful hemp stores in the USA, Cecilia succumbed to cancer in September, 2004. She loved life and lived with joy and whimsy, as shown by this photo, one of her favorites, from the 1970s. She used the last years of her life to promote a sustainable future through hemp and testified at the California Agriculture Hearings on the effort to legalize hemp cultivation in the state. The couple had received an honorarium from the Hemp Industries Association in April of 2004.

Cecilia credited medical marijuana with helping her control the disease, which had been in remission for years. When her cancer returned, she kept up her spirits with strength and courage. She kept up the good fight for a cause, a store and a plant that she truly believed in. Hemp in the Heartland at 125 K Street in Old Sacramento (916-447-4367) is a full line hemp boutique, featuring clothing, accessories, body care, food and paper products. A warm person who made others feel welcome in her store and better educated when they left, Cecilia was beloved by the public, her fellow activists, her staff Amy, Marie and Kyle, and certainly by Tony, who supported her in her life, her illness, and her hempen pursuits. Tony always said Cecilia was the "heart and soul" of the store.

"We are going to try and keep the store open in her memory, but it won't be the same without her. .It would mean so much to us, she was like a mother to us and she is greatly missed. Thanks for all your support," writes Marie.

"The members of the HIA send condolences to her devoted husband Tony, her son and staff. We will miss her in form, and know she is now playing with the hemp gods, dancing and dreaming our vision of a sustainable world for all. Much love to you, Cecilia!" said HIA director Candi Penn.

Kioshi Kurimaya

Lead plaintiff in 1999's MMJ Class Action Suit launched in Philadelphia.


"Pope" Micky

Greenwich Village, NY, pot activist who devised a religious use defense but later came to rely on cannabis for its medicinal properties.

Click here for the Human Rights
Memorial to Victims of Drug War enforcement

The AAMC Not One Tear Forgotten Project

The Harm Reduction Coalition's Drug War Memorial project