Michigan Live reports
FLUSHING, MI — Five years ago, marijuana advocate Dale “Rick” Thompson and others delivered petitions that would lead to marijuana legalization in Michigan. He was proud.
As Michigan’s multi-billion-dollar marijuana industry continues to grow and thrive, Thompson recently lay dying of cancer reflecting on his life.
Through the pain and sickness, Thompson maintained his sarcastic wit, poise and compassion for others, friends say.
The 57-year-old father of three children, and a grandfather, died at his home with family in Flushing, where he lived with his elderly mother, on the morning of Sept. 18. He was diagnosed with colon cancer nearly three months ago.
Thompson, a 1983 Flint Central High School graduate, attended the University of Michigan-Flint and Northern Michigan University. He worked in retail as manager at Art Van Furniture before devoting himself to the cannabis legalization movement full time in about 2010.
Thompson’s work revolved around marijuana, a plant, but it was the people who used that plant who motivated and inspired him, said Anton Harb Jr., a friend of Thompson’s and an advocate for veteran marijuana access.
“His greatest superpower was his empathy,” said Harb, who’s looked up to Thompson as a mentor since they met in 2018. “He loved life, he loved cannabis and he loved seeing a smile on people’s faces.”
Since about 2010, if there was a battle in Michigan surrounding legalization or access to marijuana, Thompson was on the frontlines.
“Warrior,” “advocate” and “crusader” are some of the words friends and colleagues used to describe him following news of his death.