The AIDS epidemic hit San Francisco hard, quickly taking the lives of more than ten thousand gay men including Jonathan West, the young lover of the city’s most notorious pot dealer, Dennis Peron. As laboratories worldwide raced to develop medications Dennis saw that pot was suppressing Jonathan’s nausea and enhancing his appetite. It was in this crucible of pain and loss that Dennis Peron opened the world’s first Cannabis Buyers’ Club while leading the successful effort to change the law in California.
With Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, Dennis lit a fire that has burned through 17 states and the District of Columbia with no signs of abating. The list of conditions that marijuana helps is without end, a fact that surprises many folks. After the passage of Proposition 215 Dennis announced that “all use is medical” sparking yet another debate.
How did a gay kid from Long Island who joined the Air Force to get away from home during the Vietnam War end up completely re-scripting the way the world sees marijuana? The answer to that question walks the reader through several decades of semi submerged recent history, a period of unprecedented change for gay people and cannabis users. In fact, as you see the world through the eyes of Dennis Peron you will feel the intensity of the struggle that has been occurring just under the placid surface of America over the past 40 years. (Click here to read more.)
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