Rudy Reyes (activist)

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Rudy Reyes (born February 27, 1977) is an American teacher, archaeologist, cannabis rights activist, chef. Reyes was a contestant on the reality television competition, MasterChef, on the show's fourth season.[1][2]


A resident of San Diego County, California, Reyes became known for his role in the Cedar Fire of 2003. During the fire, he helped others get to safety first, before he was trapped by the fire. Reyes soaked himself in the shower, and ran more than a mile through the fire. He sustained burns over approximately 70 percent of his body, and lost one ear and part of a finger. Reyes has had numerous surgeries and uses cannabis salve to aid healing of his skin. According to Reyes, vaporized marijuana was more effective than other drugs prescribed for pain while he was hospitalized.[1][3][4][5][6]

After the Witch Creek wildfire burned the same area four years later in 2007, Reyes became critical of his representative on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Dianne Jacob, for her vote to spend the county's resources to file a lawsuit against California's medical marijuana law, Proposition 215, which was passed by voters in 1996, rather than using the public's money to build a hospital and for fire prevention. Reyes decided to run against the incumbent. He was unable to defeat Jacob, but Reyes won more than 20,000 votes, about 22 percent, in the June 3, 2008, election. Rudy Reyes volunteers as a mentor for young burn survivors and spokesperson for United Way and the Burn Institute.[1][5][7][8][9][10][excessive citations]

Reyes ran for Santee, California City Council in 2010, San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 2012, and for Santee Mayor, against 12-year incumbent Randy Voepel, in 2012.[4][11][12][13][excessive citations]

2020 presidential campaign[edit]

Reyes was nominated by the Legal Marijuana Now Party (LMNP) to run for Vice President of the United States in 2020.[14] However, to the considerable surprise of the LMNP, their original presidential nominee, Mark Elsworth, won the Democratic nomination for Nebraska's 3rd congressional district, and as a result withdrew from the nomination. Reyes was subsequently re-nominated by the LMNP this time for President.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stein, Harvey (November 2, 2012). "Marijuana's Watershed Year?". The Huffington Post.
  2. Bartholow, Steven (May 22, 2013). "Rudy Reyes: From Medical Marijuana to TV's 'Masterchef'". Santee Patch.
  3. Snelling, Mark (March 28, 2008). "Cedar Fire Survivor Running for County Supervisor". OB Rag.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Christie, Jake (July 18, 2012). "Rudy Reyes challenges Jacob in supervisor race". The East County Californian.
  5. 5.0 5.1 St. Pierre, Allen (November 5, 2012). "Rudy Reyes: Medical Marijuana Patient Turned Politician". NORML Blog.
  6. Hindmon, Jade (April 10, 2018). "UC San Diego Doctor Uses Cannabis To Treat Pain". KPBS Public Media.
  7. Conaughton, Gig (June 6, 2007). "Voting critics object at county budget opening; patient also asks county to drop medical marijuana challenge". The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  8. Davidovich, Eugene (September 27, 2010). "Rudy Reyes: Activist, Patient, Politician". Smart Voter.
  9. "Medical Marijuana Interview with Activist & Hero Rudy Reyes". Dallas/Fort Worth NORML. April 15, 2013.
  10. Raftery, Miriam (October 27, 2013). "Flames that scorched community 10 years ago have forged strength in survivors, though scars remain". East County Magazine.
  11. Sherman, Lola (September 19, 2010). "8 compete to win 3 seats on Santee council". East County Magazine.
  12. "Jacob wins sixth term on San Diego County Board of Supervisors". East County Magazine. June 13, 2012.
  13. "Santee Mayor: Rudy Reyes". The San Diego Union-Tribune. October 9, 2012.
  14. "Vice Presidential Candidates from Third Parties in the United States: Rudy Reyes, 2020 VP Legal Marijuana Now Party". Third Party Second Bananas. July 23, 2019.
  15. Winger, Richard (March 12, 2020). "Nebraska Legal Marijuana Now Party Leader Wins Democratic Congressional Nomination". Ballot Access News. Retrieved April 17, 2020.

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