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Billionaire Peter Lewis Fights For Marijuana

Posted by Jason Draizin on 09/23/2011 in Medical Marijuana

Marijuana has support from millions of Americans, including Peter Lewis, the billionaire chairman of Progressive Insurance. In the October 10, 2011 issue of Forbes magazine’s FORBES 400 issue (which features the richest people in America), Lewis writes a piece detailing why he’s battled America’s drug laws – and why he’ll continue to do so.

 

Lewis is passionate about marijuana – and thinks the country would be much better off if it were treated like alcohol. He says, I deeply believe that we’ll have a better country and a better world if marijuana is treated more or less like alcohol” and goes on to say that “our marijuana laws are outdated, ineffective and stupid.”


But he is also a proponent of medical marijuana, saying, “I’m amazed that anyone could oppose marijuana for medical use. It’s compassionate. Doctors recommend it. But the federal government is so hung up on its war on drugs that it refuses to even allow medical research on marijuana. So I’ve ­supported changing the laws state by state, and I’ll ­continue to do so.”


Not only is he compassionate for the countless patients out there that use cannabis, but he knows about marijuana’s medical utility from first-hand experience. He tried pot for the first time when he was 39, which he recalls was better than scotch.” But he says it his left leg was amputated at age 64 did he realize how important marijuana is. He explains:

 

“When I was 64 my left leg was amputated below the knee because there was an infection that couldn’t be cured. I spent a year after the amputation in excruciating pain and a year in a wheelchair. So during that period I was very glad I had marijuana. It didn’t exactly eliminate the pain, but it made the pain tolerable—and it let me avoid those heavy-duty narcotic pain relievers that leave you incapacitated.”


Lewis ends his piece explaining that he’ll continue to work towards ending marijuana prohibition, and gives a little forecast for the future: change is coming. It’s just a question of when and how we get there.”