Ann Lee is a lifelong conservative and Texan, who has been a leader and activist in the Republican Party since 1970. In 1990, her 28-year-old son Richard Lee was injured in a workplace accident that left him a wheelchair-bound paraplegic. At the time, Anne Lee adamantly opposed cannabis, believing it to be a dangerous “gateway” drug, but when her son reported that it worked wonders in treating his severe nerve pain she began to do her own research, and “came to the conclusion that the plant was good medicine and ought to be legal.”
Richard Lee would go on to become one of the world’s leading medical cannabis activists and entrepreneurs, founding several businesses in Oakland including Oaksterdam University, and serving as the primary backer of a 2010 ballot initiative that aimed to legalize cannabis in California. Ann Lee has supported him fully, including by forming Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition in 2012, which has since grown into a leading conservative legalization advocacy group.