Los Angeles Times
Medical Marijuana Advocates Accused of Cultivation for Sale
Friday, July 24, 1998
By: DAVID ROSENZWEIG
TIMES STAFF WRITER
Todd McCormick, the medical marijuana advocate who says he was growing pot at a
Bel-Air mansion to help relieve chronic cancer pain, was actually part of a
conspiracy to cultivate large amounts of marijuana for commercial sale,
according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday.
The nine-count indictment charges McCormick and eight others with conspiracy and
possession of marijuana for sale. Several defendants, including McCormick, had
been previously indicted.
At the center of the scheme, according to the new indictment, was Peter
McWilliams, 48, owner of Prelude Press, a West Hollywood publishing house, who
allegedly advanced more than $100,000 to rent the properties and purchase
equipment to grow the plants.
McWilliams was arrested Thursday and held on $250,000 bail. His lawyer, Harland
Braun, said the indictment was part of a government campaign to discredit
medical marijuana advocates.
They allegedly tried to sell some pot to the Los Angeles Cannabis Buyer's
Club, which has been dispensing marijuana since Californians voted to legalize
the drug for medical usage in 1996.
Scott Imler, executive director of the Buyer's Club, said Thursday that his
organization has never purchased marijuana from outside sources. "We grow
everything here," he added.
In addition to McWilliams and McCormick, 27, those named in Thursday's
superseding indictment included David Williams, 25, of Lancaster; Kirill Dyjine,
33, of Hollywood; Andrew Scott Hass, 34, of Malibu and Bellingham, Wash.;
Christopher Carrington, 22, of Manhattan Beach; Greg Collier, 25, of Van Nuys
and Bellingham, Wash., and Aleksandra Evanguelidi, 24, and Renee Boje, 28, both
of Los Angeles.