Washington, DC: Ben Masel, a prominent marijuana and free speech activist, died on Saturday as a result of complications stemming from lung cancer treatment. He was 56-years-old.
For four decades, Masel served as the coordinator of the Great Midwest Harvest Festival, one of the largest marijuana law reform rallies in the United States. For the past ten-years he served as Vice-President of the Wisconsin statewide affiliate of NORML.
Ben Masel was born in New Jersey, but moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1971, where he became prominent for his political activism and public protests. He was a perennial candidate for state political office, and had engaged in several successful lawsuits against local officials affirming the public’s right to free assembly.
This past April, Masel was awarded NORML’s Lifetime Achievement Award from NORML’s Board of Directors.
A lifelong tobacco smoker, Masel had been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year. He had been undergoing radiation treatment since March.
NORML expresses its sincere condolences to the friends and family of Ben Masel.
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