Lauren Vazquez is the original Fired Up Lawyer. She has worked for over a decade to end cannabis prohibition and advance alternatives to the failed war on drugs. In 2011, she launched her law practice providing advice and legal services to California cannabis businesses focusing on multigenerational farmers, mom and pop producers, and female owned businesses. Prior to this Lauren founded the Silicon Valley chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) helping to launch a $50 million cannabis industry in San Jose. She organized patients, community members, and industry leaders to lobby the city council to allow storefront dispensaries.
Lauren is on the faculty of Oaksterdam University and is currently working on the 2016 CA initiative campaign as Deputy Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.
Lauren began her reform work as a student activist in 2004 when she founded the UC Santa Barbara chapter of NORML. Under her leadership, the chapter ran the successful Measure P campaign, Santa Barbara's Lowest Police Priority Ordinance for adult marijuana use. As an undergrad, Lauren also worked with expert medical cannabis physician David Bearman, M.D., assisting with research and patient services. In 2006, National NORML named Lauren Student Activist of the Year.
From 2006 to 2009 Lauren attended Santa Clara University's School of Law where she studied with leading criminal defense attorney and medical cannabis advocate Gerald Uelmen. Lauren also interned with the Public Defender’s Office appearing on behalf of individuals in drug court. She continued her activism as President of the SCU Law chapter of the ACLU and Co-chair of the Public Interest Social Justice Coalition. The law school recognized her leadership and dedication to civil rights with many honors including the Social Justice Service Award.
Shortly after graduating law school, Lauren founded the Silicon Valley chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). She also worked as an associate with medical cannabis attorney James Anthony and was a legal researcher and political strategist for the medical cannabis consulting firm CannBe.
In 2011, Lauren launched her practice as the Fired Up Lawyer. She also created the nation's first and only pro bono legal clinic for medical cannabis patients at SPARC collective in San Francisco. Lauren has been invited to speak at cannabis events across the country and has made numerous media appearances advocating for drug policy reform. Over the last decade, Lauren has helped lead us out of the dark ages of cannabis prohibition into the brave new world of legalization.