Washington, DC: Gatewood Galbraith -- a prominent Kentucky attorney, longtime cannabis activist, and perennial candidate for various state and federal offices -- died in his sleep on Tuesday as a result of complications from asthma and chronic emphysema. He was 64 years old.
Galbraith was widely known as an outspoken advocate for legalizing cannabis, particularly the non-psychoactive variety of the plant. While campaigning for public office, Galbraith typically wore suits made from hemp fiber and sometimes traveled in a station wagon fueled by hemp oil. He also formerly served on NORML's Board of Directors (1994-1998).
Galbraith ran five times for governor -- three times as a Democrat, once on the Reform ticket and last year as an independent. He also campaigned unsuccessfully for state agriculture commissioner, attorney general and Congress.
In 2006, Galbraith published his autobiography, "The Last Free Man in America."
Several notable state politicians -- including Gov. Steve Beshear, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, and US Senator Mitch McConnell -- have released public statements lamenting Galbraith's sudden passing.
NORML Founder Keith Stroup said, "Gatewood was someone who placed a high priority on the legalization of cannabis, and firmly believed industrial hemp -- including hemp based ethanol -- could help save the planet. In his several campaigns for public office in Kentucky, he was fearless in his pro-hemp advocacy. He will be missed by all of us who care about legalizing marijuana."
NORML expresses its sincere condolences to the friends and family of Gatewood Galbraith.