Pubdate: Fri, 30 Jun 2000
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 2000 The Register-Guard
Contact:  PO Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188
Author: Allan Erickson
Note: The death of Peter McWilliams is the subject of the current
DrugSense FOCUS Alert, see:
Bookmark: additional articles on Peter McWilliams are available at and additional articles on medicinal 
cannabis are available at


On June 14, California author and medical marijuana patient Peter 
McWilliams died. A sufferer of both cancer and AIDS, McWilliams had used 
marijuana to ease the nausea created by the medications he was taking. 
Without the pot, he was not capable of holding down food nor medicine.

McWilliams was a bestselling author and a prisoner in the war on drugs. He 
had been awaiting sentencing in federal court on charges stemming from his 
support of medical marijuana. He had been denied the use of marijuana by 
the judge, George S. King. Not only was this very sick man denied the use 
of truly life-saving medication, he was forced to undergo frequent 
urinalysis to make sure no illegal herb was consumed. His mother's home had 
been mortgaged to pay his bail. His failure to take or pass a drug screen 
would have put him in jail for violating the conditions of his release and 
cost his mother her home.

McWilliams had been denied the right to use the suffering caused by his 
cancer and AIDS and California's Proposition 215 (medical marijuana) in his 
defense in federal court. Judge King, federal prosecutors, President 
Clinton and others are responsible for his death.

Is pig-headed obstinacy effective governing? Is the denial of use of 
life-saving medication by a prisoner of war not a violation of the Geneva 

McWilliams died after choking on his own vomit - vomiting that could have 
been prevented had he been allowed the use of the one thing that allowed 
his other medicines to be effective: marijuana.

And, of course, there was not a word of his passing to be found in the 
pages of The Register-Guard.
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