November 26, 2013 4:15PM

Peter Lewis, RIP

Progressive Corp. Chairman Peter B. LewisThe Washington Post brings us some sad news today: Peter Lewis has died of a heart attack.

If you watch any television at all, you will see many TV commercials for Progressive Auto insurance, featuring the wise-cracking, Flo, with her 1960s hairdo, but Peter Lewis was the man who took the helm of the company as CEO in 1965 and turned a small company into one of the largest auto insurers in the USA.

After serving as CEO for 35 years, Lewis retired to focus on philanthropy.  He saw the futility and countless injustices of America's drug war policies and financially supported organizations that worked to end drug prohibition, including the Cato Institute.

In ten years (less?) marijuana will be a legally sold product in much of the United States, and too many people will casually assume that it was somehow inevitable.  Last December, following the successful initiatives to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington, I told an adviser to Lewis that when the history of the drug war is written, he will be remembered as one of the heroes.   I am glad Lewis lived to see the turning of the tide on drug policy here in the USA.