The Gentle Inspiration of Ron Crickenberger

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The Gentle Inspiration of Ron Crickenberger

by Ari Armstrong, January 21, 2004

It was with great sadness that I learned Ron Crickenberger passed away the morning of Tuesday, January 20. Crickenberger worked for the national Libertarian Party, and he is a contributor to The New Prohibition.

It was only on January 16 that I received an e-mail note from the national Libertarian Party, in which Helmut Forren, state chair of the Georgia LP, related Ron "has melanoma, normally thought of as skin cancer, in two lymph glands and in his bones." On Tuesday evening, I received an e-mail from David Borden of DRCNet, and he verified by phone that Ron had passed away. A story from the LP describes Ron's dedication to liberty. He spurred hundreds of LP candidates to victory, and he was active in the drug policy reform movement.

The biographical note Ron sent for The New Prohibition states, "Ron Crickenberger served as political director of the Libertarian Party from 1997 to 2003, and he was the architect of the LP's Drug War Focus Strategy, a plan that seeks to end the drug war at the federal level by leveraging the Libertarian Party's influence on elections and policy at the local and national levels. In 2002, Crickenberger managed the congressional campaign of Carole Ann Rand that helped defeat incumbent Bob Barr over his opposition to medical marijuana."

I got to spend a bit of time with Ron March 13-14, 2002, when Sheriff Bill Masters and I traveled to Washington, DC, to promote Bill's first book. Ron immediately struck me as kind, determined, and down to earth. We had lunch at the LP's office building, and Ron drove Bill and me to a television appearance. Ron and I have communicated about the book (for which I am Assistant Editor) via phone and e-mail over the last year or so.

My last e-mail from Ron was dated December 3. He wrote, "I am currently vacationing in Key West (poor me, its 7:30 AM and 75 degrees)." I never would have dreamed something was wrong with his health. On October 5, in response to my note that the "release date will be early 2004," Ron wrote, "Darn, I was hoping to buy a case for all of my Christmas shopping needs :-)." It was my privilege to work with Ron on this project.

Ron's essay is titled, "My Arrest for Civil Disobedience." In his final final paragraph, Crickenberger predicts an end to the war on patients who use medical marijuana. He concludes, "But while the needless suffering and oppression of the sick continues, when there is a chance to be back on the front lines, I'll be there." You'll be there, Ron, encouraging the rest of us.

Ron Crickenberger meets with Sheriff Bill Masters on March 13, 2002, shown here to the left of Bill.

Ron attends an event hosted by DRCNet, shown here to the right of David Borden.

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