If anyone can take the credit (or the blame) for the loosening of pot laws it is Jack Herer. His 1985 publication (and numerous re-publications) of The Emperor Wears No Clothes is what brought marijuana reform to the public’s consciousness.
In my few interactions with Jack, I found him rather rude; but that in no way diminishes his profound and lasting imprint on society. The candle he sparked while preparing his book has blossomed into a beacon that will not be extinguished.
Today, do two things in memory of Jack; spark a spliff in his memory and read a book to learn something new. You never know what impact the insight will have.