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Peron announced on September 15, 2009 that he had been fired from Oaksterdam University. It is widely believed in the marijuana community that Peron was fired because in August 2009, he expressed his opposition to the taxation of marijuana. In response, Peron has begun a weekly picket at the Coffeeshop Blue Sky medical marijuana dispensary, owned by Richard Lee. The picket takes place on Friday evenings.
Peron became a marijuana dealer after returning from Vietnam to San Francisco in 1969. In the 1970s, he ran the Big Top marijuana supermarket out of his home. In 1993, he opened the Church Street Compassion Center in San Francisco's Castro District. In 1995, he opened the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club at 1444 Market Street.
- 1978: Peron organized San Francisco Stop Prosecuting Marijuana Offenses, Proposition W (1978). Proposition W directed the district attorney to stop arresting people for possessing, transferring, or growing marijuana. It was approved by 56% of the electorate, but was not implemented.
- 1991: Peron organized San Francisco Marijuana Enforcement as the City's Lowest Law Enforcement Priority, Measure P (1991). Measure P was approved by 79%.
- 1996: Peron California Proposition 215 (1996) and organized the signature drive to put the measure on the ballot. Peron's leadership on Proposition 215 was in memory of his partner, Adam West, who used marijuana to cope with AIDS symptoms.
Views on taxing marijuana
Peron did an interview with Casper Leitch for Leitch's "Time for Hemp" podcast, during which he expressed his opposition to the taxation of marijuana, as the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2010) is under consideration.
- And it is a strange thing in California because in California and the other states, medicine is not taxed. Now all of a sudden our medicine has to be taxed. And I don't "get" this tax. It seems like we are trying to buy our way into this thing: to buy our way into acceptance. And I don't think that is the way to go...
- And I know it sounds good to say, "let's just tax our way out of this thing." But you can't. This is a moral crusade. And it's a moral crusade on their side and a moral crusade on our side. We believe in plants and I don't think we should have to tax ourselves to get it to be free. And I just think it is wrong to do it and I support the idea of getting Marijuana to be accepted and it is being accepted because people voted for it. They think it is a medicine. So the idea is that we have to start feeding the bear money to get him to stay away from us.
- We have won and eventually the courts are going to come down on their side and say hey Mr. Peron says all use is medical. Therefore Proposition 215 Legalized Marijuana and maybe through the back door. So we go through the back door and they go through the back door. But now we have these taxes."
- Santa Cruz Examiner, "Dennis Peron sacked by Oaksterdamn U for opposing marijuana tax", September 16, 2009
- Santa Cruz Drug Policy Examiner, "Proposition 215 author announces boycott of Blue Sky medical marijuana dispensary", October 15, 2009
- Cannabis Report, "Dennis Peron on The 10th Anniversary of Proposition 215"
- Pasadena Weekly, "How does your pot grow?", December 3, 2009
- Santa Cruz Examiner, "The tax heard round the world", August 30, 2009
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