The community of cannabis activism is blessed with many people that bring passion to this fight, but there are few who embody the warmth, joy, and an unwavering dedication to a cause greater than Rick Thompson.
A soldier and freedom fighter in every sense, Rick's indomitable spirit propelled him to the forefront of the battle for cannabis rights. His tenure as the Director of MI NORML and as a Board Member of MI Legalize were just a few of his tireless endeavors to change the legal and social landscape of our state.
With an even keel that anchored his every action, Rick possessed a voice that resonated far wider than the halls of power. He could have pursued any broadcasting avenue, but the pursuit of truth and justice in the modern era was his calling. As an articulate spokesman for cannabis he understood the profound good it could bring to countless lives, and he became a passionate educator sharing this peaceful revolution with countless listeners, watchers, leaders, and activists.
This battle was also a personal one. Rick fought long and hard to see the release of his brother Michael Thompson. Michael was one of America’s longest incarcerated non-violent offenders and, after 25 years he walked free just two short years ago in January 2021. When Rick was confronted with baseless charges himself after a bogus traffic stop, he transformed the ordeal into a rallying cry against the shackles of prohibition.
Today we mourn alongside the Thompson family; this is a personal loss for many of us, but also a great loss for the Cannabis movement itself. For those fortunate enough to have known him through this shared cause, his absence leaves a chasm that words can scarcely bridge.
The movement for cannabis freedom here in Michigan has lost a pillar of strength, and a steady voice that reverberated with unwavering conviction. Rick Thompson's legacy will forever inspire, a testament to the power of one individual's unyielding commitment to a just and righteous cause.
Rest in power, dear friend.