Longtime hemp activist Steve Levine has passed away. Levine was former president of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and a board member of Vote Hemp.
Levine lived in Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County, CA. He was in his mid-70s. The cause of death is unknown.
In 2011, Levine was arrested along with five others after they planted hemp seeds on the lawn at the DEA headquarters in Arlington, VA. According to a Vote Hemp press release, "The six protesters planted hemp seeds with ceremonial chrome shovels engraved with: Hemp Planting Oct. 2009 ~ DEA Headquarters ~ American Farmers Shall Grow Hemp Again, Reefer Madness Will Be Buried."
Featured in the 2007 documentary The Union: The Business of Getting High, Levine said about his favorite plant, hemp:
"It opens a whole new market on every level. The fiber itself is the strongest natural fiber in the world. Hemp is an excellent source for biofuel. It's the highest quality paper there is, it's archival quality. Hemp paper that you find in museums that's hundreds of years old haven't even yellowed. To supplement the wood, we could solve the deforestation problem." Watch the movie below.
Former HIA director Joy Beckerman tells CelebStoner: "Steve, along with his wife Kathi, was a dedicated hemp movement and industries leader and pioneer. He was a whimsical warrior who will be remembered with love and respect."
At Facebook, tributes are pouring in. Summer Star Haeske commented: "Steve Levine spent many years being a shining light in the Hemp Industry! His smile was infectious and he always knew how to lift people up. He will be missed and I am lucky to have spent many of my early years with him."
Barbara Filippone added: "Steve was by far one of the finest people I have known. This is a very sad day for all of us OGs."
Adam Dunn noted: "Great guy, a true Hempster."
Danny Danko wrote: "RIP to a great person and a true believer in the healing flower."
Levine is survived by his wife Kathi.