Best Mayor

Don Yarber

Not many politicians have the cojones to embrace a nickname like "Mayor-juana," but 71-year-old Don Yarber has good reason to be proud of his marijuana-inspired moniker. Fifteen years ago, his wife, Sylvia, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy made her feel miserable. And the drugs the doctors prescribed to treat nausea had the opposite effect — they made her vomit. Seeking an alternative, she smoked a few joints. The medical marijuana worked wonders. Sylvia survived her illness, and earlier this year, Yarber backed ballot initiatives that asked voters in his city (population: 3,000) their opinion of medical marijuana and urged the state legislature to address the issue. Both measures were defeated by a mere nine votes. Yarber, though, succeeded in his ultimate goal: to raise awareness about prescription pot in the Show-Me State — and conservative St. Charles County. The mustachioed septuagenarian was the keynote speaker at Missouri NORML's spring conference in St. Louis. He offered practical political advice for the activists in attendance and announced plans for a music festival to be held in his town on June 11 and 12 called "Cottlestock." "It's similar to Woodstock, only without the weed and the nudity," he said to a round of laughter. "So I guess you're not coming."

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