Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, left, poses with his predecessor Bill Rosendahl in 2013. (twitter.com/Bill_Rosendahl)

Former L.A. city councilman, medical cannabis advocate Bill Rosendahl dies

Former councilmember Bill Rosendahl was the first elected official in the United States to openly use medical marijuana

LOS ANGELES — Former Los Angeles City Councilman and medical marijuana patient-advocate Bill Rosendahl has died at age 70 after battling cancer for four years.

His successor, Councilman Mike Bonin says Rosendahl died Wednesday morning.

Rosendahl served on the council from 2005 to 2013, retiring to fight the cancer which was diagnosed in 2012.

Near the end of his tenure he was an outspoken supporter of medical marijuana, which he used to counter pain.

In May 2013, Bill Rosendahl became the first elected officials in the United States to openly use medical marijuana when he penned an op-ed for The Huffington Post.

It’s true. I use cannabis.

First I used it to treat neuropathy in my feet and now it provides incredible relief from the severe and sometimes debilitating pain caused by a late stage cancer strangling the nerves in my lower back.

As the first elected official in United States to openly use medical cannabis — and belong to a collective in West Los Angeles — this “coming out of the cannabis closet” is a moment for me to encourage others to openly share their amazing success stories.

Unfortunately for many patients this coming out is a problem. The legalized marijuana industry — and the thousands of patients who benefit from the plant’s medicinal use — still deal with the stigma of pot as a form of dope. There are people who still view the use of medical marijuana as just another reason to enjoy marijuana under the guise of medicine and pain management.

Rosendahl was a public affairs broadcaster and a cable TV executive before winning office.