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Marijuana movement looses one of its own

By Hempology | July 28, 2007

San Francisco Chronicle, CA
25 Jul 2007


A San Francisco native who rose to national prominence in the drug policy, human rights and medical marijuana movements, passed away on July 18 in San Francisco, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Ms.  Resner was born in San Francisco on October 4, 1946 to Herbert and Dorothy Resner.  Her father was a longtime labor and plaintiff’s attorney who in the 1930s and ’40s worked on behalf of labor icons Tom Mooney, Harry Bridges and others.

Ms.  Resner credited her father with inspiring her activism and devotion to justice.

Ms.  Resner attended Grant school in Pacific Heights and graduated from Galileo High School in 1964.  Though she never attended college, she made a lifetime business of learning, whether the subject was law, health, Judaism or macrobiotics.  She also possessed a keen artistic eye and explored diverse media including photography and graphic arts.

After owning an eclectic clothing shop on upper Fillmore Street and working in property management, Ms.  Resner became involved in the drug policy movement in the early 1990s.  Inspired by the plight of women and families swept up in the excesses of the War on Drugs, Ms.  Resner served as the director of California FAMM ( Families Against Mandatory Minimums ) and became a strong advocate for first-time, low-level, non-violent women drug prisoners; she was instrumental in the effort to attain Presidential Clemency in 2000 from Bill Clinton for Amy Pofahl, who served nine years on a 24-year sentence. 

Ms.  Resner later partnered with Mikki Norris and Chris Conrad in the traveling Human Rights and the Drug War exhibit, and the three co-authored the acclaimed book, Shattered Lives: Portraits from America’s Drug War, for which Ms.  Resner received a Robert C.  Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action from the Lindesmith Center/Drug Policy Foundation in 2001.

Most recently, Virginia was intimately involved with the Ed Rosenthal case as president of Green Aid: Medical Marijuana Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.  Ms.  Resner was also deeply involved in the study and practice of Judaism and was an active and beloved member of Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

She is survived by her brother Hillel Resner, sister-in-law, Victoria Resner and nephew, Sam Resner of Lafayette; sister-in-law, Robin Dale, niece, Dylyn House, grandnephew, Duncan House, Jr.  and grandniece, Hannah House of Benicia and numerous devoted friends and fellow activists in the Bay Area and throughout the U.S.

A Memorial Service will be held at Temple Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 31 at 1:00 p.m.

The family requests that donations in Ms.  Resner’s name be made to Coming Home Hospice of San Francisco, Green Aid, and to programs of Temple Emanu-El.

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