Medicinal cannabis activist Scott Tracy Imler, passed away yesterday morning in Los Angeles. His husband George Leddy posted on Imler’s Facebook timeline that he died in his sleep. “We have been together for thirty years,” he wrote. “We were married for nine years. I will miss him very much. We gave each other the best years of our lives. I will post details on his funeral here on his page. Thank all of you who loved him and struggled with him on so many fronts.”
Rev. Scott Tracy Imler was 60 years old.
One of the many who loved and struggled with Imler was West Hollywood Mayor John Duran. He wrote the following on his Facebook timeline following on his own Facebook timeline.
“WEHOANS. It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of the Rev. Scott Tracy Imler- husband of George Leddy. Scott was the center of medicinal marijuana for 3 decades!
I was the attorney for ACT UP and the CLEAN NEEDLES NOW needle exchange during the AIDS epidemic. I was used to representing law breakers for the cause. Scott approached me about becoming his lawyer. It was an interesting question since I live clean and sober for many years and do not consume (any longer). But marijuana helped AIDS patients keep their medication down. And it gave them appetite. And helped them maintain weight. So I agreed!
Scott set up shop as the Pastor at the corner of Fountain and Fairfax in West Hollywood at the Methodist Church. It became the “Sanctuary” for those who wished to receive and use medicinal marijuana.
Remember this was before Prop 215 legalized medicinal or Prop 64 legalized every day use. This was a time when we used the defense of “necessity” to prevent a greater evil. And it took a lot of work with law enforcement to make it happen.
We worked with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station with captains Lynda Castro and @Buddy Goldman. We had to work with the DA’s office and the City Attorneys. And ultimately we had an operation that served 1,000 AIDS patient, cancer, glaucoma and other debilitating illnesses getting their medicine at Fountain and Farifax. It was the first in Southern California. Here in West Hollywood. Karen Ocamb Henry Hank E Scott
Scott went on to help the late Dennis Peron write Proposition 215 which passed in 1996. And the LA Cannabis Resource Center enjoyed many years of serving the community at a new building on Santa Monica Blvd near Gardner – until September 2001 – when then Attorney General Ashcroft (under George W Bush) raided the center and shut it down. People were arrested and prosecuted.
Wells Fargo Bank and the City of West Hollywood had helped them purchase the building. Both the Bank and the City lost their security interests in the property when for the first time in the history of the USA, the federal government took an asset from a municipal government under “Drug asset forfeiture laws”. It went all the way up to the US Supreme court where certiorari was denied. So the federal government kept and sold the building at Santa Monica Blvd near Gardner.
Scott was prosecuted under federal law but never had to do any time. It was INJUSTICE for Scott and the Cannabis Resource Center family.
Scott made many attempts to re open his center at Fountain/Fairfax or other locations. But Prop 215 had passed in 1996 which meant rather than one location with medicinal marijuana in the county – now there were hundreds of unregulated centers all over the city. They forgot the care and compassion that Scott used in setting up his operations.
And when Prop 64 passed to legalize adult use of marijuana, so many forgot about the early sacrifices of the Rev, Scott Tracy Imler, his husband George and so many around the LACRC. But I didn’t. And i Hope you don’t either.
RIP Rev. Scott. You were my friend. My hero. A warrior for patients and those who were ill. You brought such fortitude and color to the City of West Hollywood. A hero in the national AIDS movement. We shall not forget you my dear friend.”