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It has been a full month since passionate activist Clayton Holton lost his battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a crippling, debilitating genetic condition. Clayton’s illness was the inspiration and impetus for his activism, and he fought his entire adult life to help guarantee legal, safe access to medical marijuana patients in this country.
Clayton was bound to a wheelchair by his body from the age of ten, but his heart and mind were not similarly chained. He was unafraid to stand up and speak about marijuana years before it was socially acceptable to do so. Even while his disease progressed, ravaging his body, he refused to back down, realizing that his voice, even if it shook, was more powerful than his silent suffering. He publicly testified in senate panel hearings about the New Hampshire medical marijuana law that police had been involved in his life because of marijuana at least ten times (but thankfully the police officers hadn’t ever arrested him for it).
Clayton sprang to national attention in October, 2007, when he was videotaped asking Mitt Romney if the politician would have Holden and his doctors arrested for Clayton’s use of medical marijuana. Despite getting the smiling blow-off, Clayton demanded an answer and forces the ex-presidential hopeful to admit his utter lack of compassion.
Clayton similarly approached and confronted other politicians, but many were comfortable ignoring or lying to him. Follow this link to NH Compassion, which hosts an excellent collection of videos of Clayton with politicians. Considering that he was simply trying alleviate his pain and possibly extend his life expectancy a little, one must wonder if they now regret their dismissals of this courageous man.
In a sad twist of fate, Clayton passed mere months before the medical marijuana program in his home state of New Hampshire is slated to begin accepting patients (which should be in January, 2015).
Although Clayton Holton did not get to personally benefit from the medical marijuana law in New Hampshire and the rapidly changing culture in his nation regarding medical cannabis, his tireless efforts ensured that countless individuals struggling with a wide range of medical conditions will soon have safer access to medical marijuana in his home state. He also touched the hearts and minds of countless humans with his words, his actions, and his passion. Clayton will be greatly missed and remembered with great love and gratitude for his decision to fight for himself and for others.
For previous Ladybud coverage of activism and cannabis in New Hampshire, click here.