Bill and Doreen Bishop Cannabis Collection
Papers and documents related to the first medical marijuana legalization in Colorado. The collection contains flyers, permits, photographs, books and documents.
Bill and Doreen Bishop were early advocates for the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Colorado. The oral history with Bill details how the couple became involved in the movement in Colorado. Suffering from many illnesses as a child and then having colon cancer in the 1980s, Doreen had been using marijuana in the medicinal capacity for years, however, after spending a weekend in the Denver city jail for possession, she began being more active in campaigns to legalize cannabis. Doreen took part in smoke-ins at the capitol as well as in other events throughout Denver. A lawsuit she filed against the University of Colorado in Boulder and the State of Colorado regarding earlier Colorado laws: The Dangerous Drugs Therapeutic Research Act, 1979 signed into law by Governor Dick Lamm that allowed cancer and glaucoma patients to use medical marijuana prescribed doctors and the patients were to pick up their meds at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. The second was the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis in 1981, neither bills amounted to anything as they failed to receive federal approval. The basis for Doreen’s lawsuit was that the state and the university were failing to comply with these laws. While the lawsuit didn’t go anywhere, it did help the momentum for the passage of Amendment 20 in 2000 making Colorado the only state to legalize medical marijuana in its constitution. Doreen received one of the first permits to grow marijuana for personal medicinal use. The items presented here include documentation related to her lawsuit, correspondence between both state and federal government officials, documentation related to her activism, artifacts related to protests (signs, t-shirts, flyers), originals and copies of the Bishop’s marijuana permits and licenses, and photographs documenting events that the Bishops were associated with as part of their activism.
Donated by Bill and Doreen Bishop, 2019.
The collection contains non-manuscript materials, they are cataloged under 2019.91
Bill and Doreen Bishop Cannabis Collection, MSS.3159, History Colorado, Denver, Colo.