Rick Andersen and his daughter
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In memory of an activist, Rick A. Andersen

This past year I was able to reach out to a relative that I had not saw in years, mainly because of my cannabis activism.   The last time we spent together was doing very meaningful activities to reform the current marijuana laws.  He was true in nature and his actions will have a lasting effect on all of us for years to come.

His personal story is just that, personal.  His public story and fight to help our cause is something that needs to be recorded and no doubt something to be very proud of.

His philosophy of “call a horse a horse and an ass an ass” worked well on the phone with elected officials.  His straight forward approach and non threatening attitude made it easy for everyone to relate to him in person.  When he explained how medical cannabis benefited patients, people listened.  Rick was in pain everyday, his doctors, family and support network knew cannabis could help with his pain management, his appetite and his mental well being.  Cannabis would have made a positive impact on his life and Rick made a positive impact on mine; even inspiring on camera courage with Fox 11 News in Green Bay

Rick knew cannabis would help, but unfortunately died without a safe medicine, his potentially life saving medicine, was not legal yet.  His hands where tied by laws and the doctor’s pain management contracts, but sick, in pain and dying he did something meaningful everyday.  Rick assisted me with conversations directly with District 14 Wisconsin State Senator Luther Olsen, who after that listening session expressed favor for the reform of marijuana laws.

With a sense of urgency on a phone call just days before his passing, he shared with me his conversations with staffers and elected officials down in Madison and the progress he had and had not made.  He knew that his elected officials did not have to agree 100% with his own viewpoints, but he sure felt that some of his elected officials did not care about him 1%, which just was not right.

His life will live on through his daughters, family and friends.  His courage will live on through me.  His actions will carry onto all of us as we do our own something meaningful everyday in our own way.  Little, big, public or private, now is the time to act.

Dedicated to Rick A. Andersen; born January 26th, 1966 and died February 18th, 2010.   Author of poem is not known.

Rick Andersen and his daughter
Rick A. Andersen; born January 26th, 1966 and died February 18th, 2010 and his daughter

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high

And you want to smile, you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is unique with its twists and turns,

As everyone of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out–

The silver tint of the clouds no doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

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