Peter Lewis, one of the largest financial donors spearheading the recent push for the legalization of marijuana…died Saturday, at the ripe old age of 80. Did I forget to mention, he was also the head of Progressive auto Insurance – one of the largest auto insurers in the US.
Mr. Lewis took over as the chief executive officer of Progressive in the middle of the counterculture revolution– cultivated carefully from the company his father co-founded in 1937. Peter was calculated and excelled at making cold-hard-cash for his company, during which Progressive insurance Corp. — and Lewis family fortune — steadily blossomed.
In 2006, Forbes calculated his net worth at $1.4 billion.
That’s when things got interesting, and Lewis turned his fat stack of chronic cash into support for a number of social causes, primarily vigorous support for marijuana law reform– fired up after he utilized medical marijuana following a leg amputation.
In a highly publicized 2011 interview with Forbes Magazine, the Progressive CEO said he first ‘fired up’ at the late age 39. Lewis later proudly proclaimed he found pot to be “better than scotch” and believed it beneficial for the management of his chronic pain.
“I don’t believe that laws against things that people do regularly, like safe and responsible use of marijuana, make any sense,” he told Forbes. “Everything that has been done to enforce these laws has had a negative effect, with no results.”