Ben Masel, RIP

Madison NORML Examiner:

Sad news this morning as we learn that longtime Madison cannabis activist Ben Masel passed away shortly after 9am today from complications of cancer at hospice care in Fitchburg. Further details coming. Today's Global Cannabis Freedom March, scheduled for noon on Capitol Square, will be dedicated to Ben's memory.


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    It is cool there is a Cannabis Freedom March (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:40:29 AM EST
    today. It scares me to lose someone like Ben Masel because he understood so many of the fights from the very roots of the issues.  So many of us get easily distracted and those sight the fundamentals of the argument and fight....and then we lose the fight.  He never did, and he was never distracted.  His house was never built on sand.  Godspeed Ben

    Sorry, meant to type we lose sight (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:41:26 AM EST
    of the fundamentals.....then we lose the fight

    Very sorry to hear this. (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by ek hornbeck on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:42:48 AM EST
    Ben was a stand up guy.

    So sorry to hear this news (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:44:46 AM EST
    My heartfelt condolences to his family. May he rest in peace. The country has lost a steadfast warrior for making this a better place for all of its citizens.

    Damn (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:04:03 AM EST
    Goodbye Ben.

    So sorry (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:08:28 AM EST
    to hear this.

    My Sincere Condolences (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by The Maven on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:29:50 AM EST
    to his family and many friends.  Although I really only knew him though his blog comments, having only met him once, Ben could always be counted upon for knowledgeable and useful posts, and his advocacy was a wake-up call to those who merely carp from the sidelines.  He will indeed be missed.

    Damnit (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by shoephone on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:47:52 AM EST
    Ben was a guy with real integrity. My condolences to his family, friends, and those he worked with at NORML.

    Reflecting (5.00 / 8) (#9)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:05:50 PM EST
    I think the thing I liked most about Ben was that he could be a realist and an idealist at the same time without any contradiction.

    It's pretty clear that he knew he was never going to win all of those longshot races he contested--though he would have liked too. But he also knew that by running, people would listen to him, especially the candidates who beat him.

    Very sorry to hear this. (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Maryb2004 on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:24:02 PM EST
    My condolences to his family and all of his friends.

    The Wheel Turns for dear Friend (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by themomcat on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 01:09:04 PM EST
    I met him in Pittsburgh and looked forward to seeing him this June. We exchanged e-mails and private tweets about his health and the wisdom of leaving the hospital to join the protests in Wisconsin. It was what he wanted to do in the time he had, while he still could.

    I can still feel his hug when we met. He will always be in my heart.

    He will be remembered tonight when we light the Beltane fires.

    May the Goddess guide him on his journey to the Summerlands. May his family and friends find Peace.

    Blessed be. The Wheel Turns.

    "This is a test of the Emergency Free Speech System" Ben Masel Madison, WI March, 2011


    Very sad indeed. (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by lilburro on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 01:51:24 PM EST
    My thoughts go out to his friends and family.  His presence here on TL was invaluable; and I know he did many many good things in his time.  He was truly an admirable guy.  RIP.

    RIP Ben (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:11:18 PM EST
    Ben posted over 1,500 comments at TalkLeft over the years. His voice will be missed. My condolences to his family as well.

    I am so sorry to learn of Ben's passing. (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:17:19 PM EST
    His was a clear and principled voice that not enough people got the chance to hear; I have no doubt that the good work he did, and the many he inspired along the way, will keep his vision alive.

    My deepest sympathies to his family, his friends and colleagues.

    A little Louis Armstrong for Ben (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Dadler on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:29:29 PM EST
    That's horrible (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by bordenl on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:13:22 PM EST
    Ben Masel was a strong individual voice and could never be said not to have had an authentic life. He will be missed.

    This makes me really sad (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by sj on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:19:54 PM EST
    His was one of the first names -- and voices -- I learned to recognize when I first started visiting political blogs.  I would always read what he had to say because it always gets to the heart of the matter.  Didn't need a lot of words to do it, either.  He just never let himself get distracted.

    Peace to you, Ben Masel, and to your family.  The world is poorer for your passing.

    Not fair (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:43:16 PM EST
    RIP Ben, I hope there is justice somewhere in the universe. You will be missed.

    RIP Ben. (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:30:29 PM EST
    You were an incredible example of what we should all strive to be--not just someone griping about how bad things are on some blog, but actually getting out and working to affect change.  Your passion and commitment were a wonder to behold.  That will be my memory of you.  

    I'm comforted in the knowledge that you're in place without suffering and pain.  

    You will be missed.

    One of our best.... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon May 02, 2011 at 10:50:01 AM EST
    This is crushing news...Ben Masel was a god damn American hero who will be sorely missed.    

    May you find the freedom, peace, and rest your nation never allowed you, sweet Mr. Masel...wherever you are now, they wouldn't dare call you a criminal like they done on Earth. And may your noble efforts to improve this nation & world never be forgotten.