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Obituary: Alan Caruthers – Texas Marijuana Activist

Alan CaruthersMarijuana activist Alan Clayton Caruthers, 50, of Waco, passed away Monday, January 19 at his home after a nine year battle with cancer.

He was a social worker at the Methodist Children’s Home, a member of the McLennan County Libertarian Party, and a leader in the Texas marijuana law reform movement, serving as a board member for NORML of Waco Inc.

Alan was born October 15, 1964 in Naples, FL to Samuel B. and Lorene (Marshall) Caruthers. He married Laura Parsley on Aug. 17, 1996.

In 2009 he became active in a non-profit chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) as he sought possible treatment, or at least alleviation of his pain from cancer with cannabis.

During his time as an activist he made many friends and had a profound impact on the lives of those who met him as he advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana, with Robert Platshorn saying that Alan convinced him to continue writing after he released the Tuna Diaries. Those who met Alan were introduced to a warm and kind man who would do anything to help those around him.

He gave his time and money to the cause of raising awareness about how cannabis could ease the suffering of the sick, largely through his time with NORML. Alan traveled to many seminars and conferences throughout both Texas and nationally, gaining as much knowledge as he could about the medicinal properties of cannabis. He was a uniter, bringing people together for the greater good.

First diagnosed with Leukemia, and then B cell Lymphoma, Alan made trips back and forth to specialists for chemotherapy and other treatments, however he was denied the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes by his doctors. He remained strong and hopeful though, continuing with his activism and joining the Libertarian Party.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

Supported by family and friends, he made one final trip for treatment. Progress turned to regression though, and ultimately Alan was sent home to spend his final days with loved ones. His family and friends were able to see him one final time the day before he passed.

Survivors include his wife, Laura; son, Samuel Benjamin Caruthers III; parents, Samuel Benjamin, Sr. and Lorene Caruthers; mother-in-law, Sandra Parsley; brothers, Samuel Caruthers, Jr., Joe Caruthers and wife, Kim with children, Ben and Sarah; sister, Carol Haley and husband, Tom with daughter, Dori Sabella; and brother-in-law, John Parsley with daughters, Samantha and Rachael.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the World Hunger Farm, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and NORML of Waco.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 24 at Calvary Baptist Church, 1001 N. 18th A St., Waco, TX 76707.

Thoughts and memories may be shared in his online Guest Book at http://www.lakeshorefuneralhome.com/alan-caruthers/.

Alan will be missed, and will always be remembered.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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