If you’ve been to an Arizona NORML meeting since the 90s, you’ve probably noticed Chuck. One of Arizona’s great activists for decades, Chuck Hadd, Jr, Viet vet, former prisoner of the drug war, was a permanent fixture in every NORML meeting or any cannabis reform meeting for that matter.
Chuck would frequent NORML, Phoenix Cannabis Coalition and Safer Arizona meetings with articles he wrote. This turned into one of the original cannabis reform publications in Arizona, called the Homegrown.
He also owned a publication called Maple Ash Press. This was a three to four-page poetry newsletters that circulated in the historic Maple Ash community in Tempe. Inside this publication, you could find ads for Headquarters Smoke shop (in its original location) and you could also find information about AZNORML meetings. These meetings at first were in the basement of the Tempe library. However, apparently we wore out our welcome, and the meetings soon moved to Chuck’s apartments in the courtyard. This was because he was on the original AZNORML board. (Under the video is an audio of Chuck Duty director and Bill Green founder of AZNORML on an AM radio show discussing cannabis reform with a DEA agent).
After his days on the board of Norml were behind him, he was still an active role in the cannabis community. Not only did he never miss a reform meeting, as mentioned before, but he spent hours supporting others in court battling unjust marijuana laws.
Chuck is one of the foundational building blocks of Arizona cannabis reform, inspiring and mentoring cannabis activists for decades. We would not be here if not for all the hard work he and countless/ selfless others put in.
After Chuck’s stroke a few years ago, he still lived an independent lifestyle. However, in the last years, Chuck’s health had begun to decline. On Wednesday, June 1st, 2022, at around 5 pm he smoked his last joint (for artistic purposes) and took a nap in his favorite chair. He was 75 years old. His canna fam memorial was Saturday, June 11th, 2022. In which many of the superhero activists told stories in a celebration of life.
Charles Hadd, Jr. got to experience something he thought he would never see, the reform of cannabis laws. He compared it to the women’s suffrage (voting rights) saying, you work on reform not for your lifetime, but the next. And that’s the best way to describe this man that gave his all to a cause bigger than himself, his efforts have impacted all our lives forever.
1990’s KTAR AM RADIO SHOW
(The years have not been kind to this audio tape. The entire second half is warped. I am not a sound editor, if you are one and want a project please let me know. Otherwise, this is the best i can do.)