States of America vs. Peter McWilliams
(Comments From Peter McWilliams in
It is difficult to briefly respond
to a nine-count, 41-Page, Federal Grand Jury Indictment containing 182
"overt acts", but I shall do my best. As several readings of the
Indictment has my mind swimming with numbers, I shall use numbers to respond:
1. I have never sold a drug in my
life. I have never asked or authorized anyone to sell a drug. I have never
profited from any drug deal, ever.
2. I use medical marijuana to treat
the nausea caused by my AIDS medications. If I do not keep the medications down,
I will not live. Medical marijuana, for me, is a matter of life and death.
3. I had not used marijuana or any
other illegal drug for decades prior to my March, 1996 diagnosis of AIDS and
cancer (Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma).
5. I paid Todd McCormick to write a
book, not to grow and sell medical marijuana. I admitted to being the money
behind the Bel Air "medical marijuana mansion" (as the press dubbed
it) the same day Sheriff Block stated at a press conference in July, 1997 as he
announced Todd McCormick's arrest, "He bought the mansion with drug
6. It was because I came forth with
the truth so quickly in July, 1997 that I find myself in Federal custody in
July, 1998. The DEA concluded I was a "Drug King Pin" and then worked
backwards to prove itself right. It has used discarded gossamer wings to do so.
7. Todd McCormick's book, How to
Grow Medical Marijuana, would have been online this week, had it not been for my
arrest on July 23, 1998.
8. On December 17, 1997, 9 DEA and
IRS agents came into my home, handcuffed me, went through every piece of paper I
own, and took away my computer containing almost 2 years worth of work on
medical marijuana. William F. Buckley Jr. said of this in his column, "It
is as though they carried off the printing presses of the New York Times."
9. I am a vocal and occasionally
effective proponent of medical marijuana and that is why I am in jail. I am the
publisher of The Medical Marijuana Magazine Online and had discussed medical
marijuana on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CBS Radio Network, TIME, Los Angeles Times, and
dozens of others. I have testified before The National Academy of Sciences and
before Senator John Vasconcellos' 1998 Medical Marijuana Committee.
10. In my address before The
Libertarian National Convention on July 4, 1998, my plea was for medical
marijuana to be available to all who need it.
11. At no time did not violate
Proposition 215, now The Compassionate Use Act of 1996. This is not The United
States of America vs. Peter McWilliams; it is The United States of America vs.
The People of California, whose political will is being trampled on by the
12. California Attorney General Dan
Lungren has not upheld his oath of office to defend the laws and the citizens of
California against all comers--including the Federal Government. Indeed, as the
Orange County Register editorialized recently, Lungren "Aided and
abetted" the federal forces.
13. While in federal custody, I was
denied my AIDS medication--which must be taken without fail six-times-a-day, a
regimen I have followed scrupulously for 28 months--for 9 days. Already, a
mutation of the AIDS virus maybe replicating within my body, one that science
cannot treat, one that may kill me. In other words, my government may have
already taken my life for the crime of treating my life-threatening illness--a
treatment approved by my 4 physicians and by 56.4 percent of the California electorate.
14. Yes, I attempted to cultivate
my own medical marijuana, in my own home, for my own use, using seeds purchased
from a staff member of The Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers Club. Immediately after
Todd McCormick's arrest in July, 1997--the first Federal California medical
marijuana arrest since the passage of Proposition 215 eight months earlier--I
"caused the dismantling of the indoor marijuana grow" and donated
"grow-lights and other equipment to The Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers
Club." (Quotes from The Indictment)
15. In other words, the moment the
Federal Government actually did something about medical marijuana in California,
I was out of the growing business--the first such attempt in my life--and I have
not returned. I donated (not sold) all my equipment to the only seemingly
federally approved marijuana grow operation in California--The Los Angeles
Cannabis Buyers Club, now The Los Angeles Cannabis Cultivators Club. The club is
still in business, still using my lights, and harvesting more marijuana per
month than I had ever attempted to grow in my life.
16. Any sales I planned were to be
legal sales, through a non-profit organization I had established before Todd
McCormick's arrest, The Medical Botanical Foundation. The foundation lies
dormant--waiting for the Federal Government to come to its senses... waiting for
the voters of California to tell Washington "We voted, and we mean
In Federal Custody (with no bail-out in sight)
July 28, 1998