5 Jan 2012 - Gatewood Galbraith, a lawyer and five-time candidate for Kentucky governor known as an advocate for limited government and legalizing marijuana, was pronounced dead Wednesday morning at his Lexington home of complications from emphysema. He was 64.
Galbraith used humor on the campaign trail while publicly critizing partisan bickering, government spending and advocating pot legalization and hemp farming in Kentucky. Galbraith ran as an independent candidate for governor last November with businesswoman Dea Riley as his lieutenant governor running mate. He finished third in the three-candidate race, which was won by incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear.
Riley said Galbraith discovered marijuana's medicinal uses, when it was recommended he try it to help with his asthma. "He never had another asthma attack after that," she said. "That's what caused his pot advocacy." Galbraith called for marijuana to be licensed and regulated for medical use and said industrial hemp should be a legal cash crop in Kentucky.
Galbraith attracted attention as a young candidate for being a proponent of legalized marijuana, wearing a hemp suit and campaigning in his "hempmobile," a used Mercedez-Benz station wagon that ran on hemp oil. In later years, he toned down such activities and took a more conservative stance in repeated, though unsuccessful, runs for office. Country music star Willie Nelson, a proponent of marijuana legalization, threw his support behind Galbraith in last year's election, saying he and Galbraith "believe the same way about a whole lot of things."
Born in Carlisle in 1947, Galbraith's family moved to Lexington when he was 12. He founded the Future Kentucky Marijuana Growers Association in 1976 and soon became a lawyer and public defender. Galbraith served as a member of NORML's board of directors in the '90s.
NORML's founder and current legal counsel Keith Stroup says: "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."
Gatewood published an autobiography titled "The Last Free Man in America," and handed it out at campaign events. The "Last Free man in America" is now smoking a heavenly Bong.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times