Longtime medical marijuana activist Joanna McKee dies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Longtime medical marijuana activist Joanna McKee dies

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SEATTLE (AP) - JoAnna McKee, a pioneering medical marijuana activist in Washington state, has died at age 74.

Longtime friend Dale Rogers says McKee passed away Nov. 18. He was not certain of the cause.

McKee and her partner, Stich Miller, founded Seattle's first cannabis co-op, Green Cross Patient Co-Op, in 1993, five years before Washington approved medical marijuana. Rogers says she grew and used marijuana to treat debilitating pain from a mo ped accident, and she wanted to donate excess cannabis to AIDS patients.

McKee was instrumental in working to pass Washington's medical marijuana initiative and pushing lawmakers to support patients. She often appeared in her wheelchair, sporting a colorful eye patch, to testify at the Legislature.

Friends planned to gather for a memorial Thursday afternoon. Among the speakers were King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and former state Sen. Jeannie Kohl-Welles.

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