Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Memphis Marijuana Advocate Dies in Tennessee Jail


The mysterious death of Thorne Peters, a self-styled marijuana advocate who was serving a four-year sentence for pot and gun possession in Memphis, has the Internet abuzz.

He died in his jail cell at the Shelby County Division of Correction on November 2.

Peters represented himself in his trial for possessing three-quarters of a pound of weed, paraphernalia and a .45 pistol in February 2015. He was convicted on March 1 on two felony counts and subsequently sentenced to four years.

It's unclear what caused Peters' death. Stacey Theis wrote:

He was 57 years old and lived in the Orange Mound section of Memphis, and before that in California. Thorne had several previous drug arrests and spent 18 months in jail on a 2009 conviction related to the raid of his Imbibrios Bar. 

Famous for smoking out of an apple outside the Criminal Justice Center on 4/20, Peters was a character who both brought attention to himself and to the marijuana-legalization cause. On his website he called himself a "kingpin," "prophet." "pothead" and "hedonist," among other things. His Twitter handle was THERealKINGPEN @THORNEPETERS

Please come back for updates on this breaking story.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.