Dennis Peron (born April 8, 1945, Bronx, New York) is an openly gay American medical cannabis and LGBT activist and businessman who was the figurehead for the legality of cannabis throughout the 1990s influencing many in California and thus changing the political debate of marijuana in the United States.
He grew up on Long Island, served in the Air Force in Vietnam and moved to The Castro, San Francisco, where he sold cannabis, cofounded the Cannabis Buyers Club, and coauthored California Proposition 215. His marijuana business was busted by authorities in 1978 and 1990. In 1996, Dan Lungren, state attorney general, ordered another bust of Peron's club. Proposition 215 was passed soon thereafter, which allowed the club to reopen. Later in 1996 The Grassroots Party of Minnesota fielded Dennis Peron, as their first Presidential nominee, in the U.S. presidential election. Peron received 5,400 votes. In 1998, Peron ran in the Republican primary for California governor against his rival Lungren (who won the primary and lost the election to Gray Davis).
Peron has voiced support for decriminalization of all marijuana use as he believes the herb is medicinal just as food is and thus should be available to those who want to benefit from it. However it should be noted he did not believe medical use for marijuana was acceptable for kids. Peron opposed California Proposition 19 (2010) because he does not believe that recreational use of marijuana exists and that all people who use marijuana are using it medicinally.