NORML was incredibly sad to hear the news that longtime drug policy reform advocate and ally William “Bill” Piper has passed away after a long battle with a personal illness. Bill spent much of his life fighting against our draconic Drug War policies and played a key role in many of our movement’s early successes and helped get us to where we are today.
Bill Piper had worked at Drug Policy Alliance for two decades in the role of Senior Director of National Affairs. While with DPA he was responsible for developing and implementing strategies for ending the federal war on drugs, lobbying Congress in support of cutting drug war waste, fighting to protect state marijuana laws from federal interference, reforming draconian sentencing laws, re-structuring federal law enforcement agencies, and preventing drug overdoses and the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
Bill was a prevalent spokesperson in the media, having appeared on outlets such as Fox News, Al Jazeera, BBC News, Voice of America, and NPR’s Marketplace. He was quoted in a wide range of regional and national newspapers, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Roll Call, Politico, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, and Washington Post.
As we move closer and closer to finally ending marijuana prohibition nationwide we must never forget the decades of effort and the hundreds of individuals who committed their lives to this fight. Without folks like Bill, we would never be as close to victory as we are today. NORML sends its deepest condolences to all of Bill’s friends and family. The fight to end the Drug War lost one of our best champions and one of the nicest and most caring individuals one could hope to meet.
Rest in power, friend.