RIP Mike Gray: Screenwriter, author and activist

It is with sadness that CalNORML reports the death of Mike Gray, Gray was a documentarian and the award-winning screenwriter of the prophetic movie China Syndrome (starring Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda) who took an interest in the drug war after reading a 1992 article in the LA Times by DPA’s Ethan Nadelmann.

Written in documentary style after six years of research and writing, including a trip to Columbia, Gray’s seminal book, DRUG CRAZY: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out (Random House, ’98) had a major impact on the drug war debate. (If you’re on Bill Maher’s Christmas list, you may have received it as a present.)

Gray’s book, Busted: Stone Cowboys, Narco-Lords, and Washington’s War on Drugs was published by Nation Books in 2002.

Gray penned the ads CommonSense for Drug Policy ran in The Nation and other national magazines calling for commonsense on the issue. See Mike speak about his work at CSDP.

He spoke at CalNORML’s conference commemorating 100 years of prohibition in California at the Ft. Mason Center in San Francisco in January. See Mike’s speech above.

“In 2008, Mike and I toasted to seeing the end of cannabis prohibition at the NORML conference in Berkeley,” said Dale Gieringer, the director of California’s NORML chapter. “Sadly for Mike, his friends, and the nation, he didn’t live to see it.”

Mike’s grace, style, and keen intelligence will be missed.

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