Many of us in and around the cannabis industry have heavy hearts this weekend. Dennis Peron passed yesterday. This man was a true legend who paved the way for our efforts today.  Yet while I’m deeply saddened by this loss, I’m equally invigorated to be a part of the Big Rock family, collaborating with all those continuing to forge the path that was his lifework.

I am honored to have met and worked with Dennis in the early 90s. He was a trailblazer that brought so much pain relief with this plant —and at a time that people thought he was crazy for calling it medicine.

I saw firsthand the medicinal benefits of cannabis after my mother succeeded at getting my cancer-stricken father admitted to a UCSF trial back in 1990. I was amazed and grateful as the treatment relieved my father of some of cancer’s horrible effects. Afterward, my mother started bringing people together around this cause and quickly connected with Dennis whose work was renowned. My mother and Dennis worked together on the medical marijuana proposition and beyond, and ultimately became friends.

I also saw Dennis help many HIV patients suffering from nausea who were unable to eat until medicated with marijuana. He was a man on a mission.

This is why we are in this fight at Big Rock, and why we are so energized and motivated. Dennis would have gotten such a kick seeing what we are doing and would be proud that we are “fighting the good fight for what is: real medicine!”

Still, it’s amazing to see after all this time and evidence we are still debating the power of this plant.

Rest easy, Dennis. We will carry your torch.