Fred Gardner (activist)

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Fred Gardner is an American political organizer and author best known for his opposition to the Vietnam War and his writings about the medical mariijuana movement in the United States.


Gardner received his bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1963. He has been an editor at Scientific American, a private detective, a songwriter, an author, a freelance journalist, one of the credited screenwriters for Zabriskie Point directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, the owner of Variety Home Video, the editor of Synapse (the UCSF Medical Center student newspaper), and Public Information Officer for the San Francisco District Attorney's office under Terence Hallinan.

In the fall of 1967 Gardner, with Donna Mickleson and Deborah Rossman, started a coffeehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, that became a hang-out for GIs, an alternative USO called the UFO (United Freedom Organization). Gardner covered the court martial of 27 GIs charged with mutiny at the Presidio of San Francisco in October 1968 and wrote a book about the case, The Unlawful Concert, published by Viking in 1970 and reissued by Gryphon Press in 2005.

In April 1970, Gardner worked as a stage manager for Free The Army (FTA) with actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. This travelling road show for soldiers was meant to counter USO shows put on by Bob Hope. Gardner is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch. He is a long-time contributor to the Anderson Valley Advertiser.

In 2003, Gardner launched O'Shaughnessy's Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice, a journal in which doctors of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, monitoring cannabis use by patients could share their findings and observations, and be kept abreast of relevant scientific and political developments. Martin A. Lee has been associate editor since 2009.

Gardner currently lives in Alameda, California with his wife Marci. He has six sons and a daughter.

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