Steve Fox, who led the drafting of Colorado Amendment 64, which legalized adult-use cannabis in 2012 and set in motion a wave of state legislation across the U.S., died this week. He was 53.
Fox was a leader at Vicente Sederberg LLP, a cannabis law group based in Denver, since 2010. He co-founded VS Strategies in 2013 and served as managing partner.
“We are truly heartbroken to share news of the passing of our partner and dear friend Steve Fox,” the team at Vicente Sederberg wrote. “With wisdom beyond his years and a pioneering spirit, Steve was an ‘old soul’ with a knack for seeing things in a new light. He was strongly principled, deeply empathic, and fiercely kind. And despite his usually soft-spoken and lighthearted demeanor, his opinions rarely went unheard and always carried significant weight.”
Fox built a storied career in political advocacy, specifically lending his expertise to drug reform policy and social justice. He brought an early sense of political legitimacy to the cannabis reform movement coming out of the 1990s, joining Marijuana Policy Project as the first full-time lobbyist on Capitol Hill in 2002.
“He made me feel like we could do anything,” Mason Tvert, a colleague of Fox’s at Vicente Sederberg, told the Denver Post. “This guy, he was truly passionate about helping people, both those around him and those that he knew were being affected by bad policies. And he never got a ton of recognition and he didn’t really seek recognition. He was always proud to be the guy behind the scenes.”
In Cannabis Business Times, Fox was most recently interviewed for our December 2020 issue—discussing the prospects of a legalization wave in the Northeast this year.
Vicente Sederberg has set up a GoFundMe page for Fox's family.