Michael Baldasaro, a longtime marijuana activist and perennial candidate for office, has died in a hospice after a battle with prostate cancer.
Baldasaro was 67.
He passed away this morning at Emanuel House on Stinson Street.
He leaves behind an uncle, sisters in Ohio and his son, Aaron, who lives in Vancouver.
Baldasaro, who ran for the Marijuana Party, sought office at three levels of government in Hamilton since 1984.
He’s best known as being a founding member of the Church of the Universe, repeatedly trying to use religious freedom laws to support marijuana as a sacrament in that church and at one time advocated for a nude beach in Hamilton.
He also ran for mayor several times since the 1980’s.
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger has issued a statement on the passing of Baldasaro.
“I am saddened to learn of the passing this morning of Michael Baldasaro at the age of 67. Michael was true champion of Hamilton. His commitment to the City and his Church of Universe community was unwavering, but more importantly a genuinely nice man. I will miss his passion and good humour. On behalf of the City of Hamilton, our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues. We are sorry for your loss.”