Lepp’s wife, Sandra Castaneda, posted on Facebook about the tragic news on August 16. “This morning at 2:00am my husband Charles EdwardLepp aka OG Eddy Lepp passed away in his sleep.”
Eddy Lepp leaves behind a life filled with great sacrifices for the cannabis community and America.
On June 6, Eddy posted one of his last updates on Instagram at @OG_EddyLepp regarding the status of his health. “Hi everybody, it’s been a while since I said anything so I thought I’d shoot out a little update. I have cancer of the bone now. And it’s pretty rampant from my chest to my toes. And we’re gonna have to change therapies to try to win this battle. But uh, I got at least a couple three more months and maybe a couple years, so keep them cards and letters coming, keep buying that art…I love you all and thank you so much for giving me a reason to live.”
Since the news broke of his passing, thousands of fans have been leaving notes to his memory.
Lepp served in the U.S. Army’s military intelligence unit in the Vietnam War from 1969–1972, and shortly after, became a lifelong fighter for cannabis rights.
Eddy Lepp: a true cannabis crusader
Lepp was one of the industry’s greatest advocates, leaving his mark as one of many who suffered in prison as a result of trying to cultivate medical cannabis and help patients get access. He owned and operated Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens and Multi-Denominational Chapel of Cannabis and Rastafari, which was raided by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials on August 18, 2004—the 17th anniversary of which is just days away.
At the time, it was considered to be one of the largest cannabis operations of its time, serving up to 1,000 medical cannabis patients. The operation was valued at $130 million, and it took DEA agents two days to confiscate approximately 32,500 plants that were growing on Lepp’s property in Upper Lake, California.
Remembered for his greatness
In 2017, Lepp was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by High Times who not only operated one of the “Greatest Marijuana Gardens of All Time,” but continually fought for his right to grow the plant, and for other people’s rights to consume it.
Beyond being an active cannabis pioneer and activist, Lepp was renowned for his work as a multidisciplinary creator as an author, poet and artist. Not to the surprise of those who knew him, his creations featured colorful depictions of cannabis plants in full bloom, as well as large-scale joints and other cannabis-related elements, many of which were brought to another level of wonder by incorporating layers of colorful glitter. You can check out his works through the Facebook page created directly to display his art, while prints and other merchandise that were adorned with his colorful designs are sold through an online store.