Peter McWilliams Memorial Vigil and Rally (June 15, 2002)
Saturday, June 15, 2002
West Los Angeles Federal Building
Event: Peter McWilliams Memorial Vigil and Rally
Today from 1-4 PM some 50 local residents turned out with banners,
signs, and a great deal of enthusiasm to honor the memory of Peter
McWilliams, a pioneer in the medical cannabis movement. Some of the
demonstrators were in wheelchairs or walked with canes. Two members
watchful eye of the General Services Agency Police, the marchers coaxed
passerby's on busy Wilshire Blvd. to honk for medical cannabis. At
times the noise was deafening as thousands of cars drove by. Many folks
hung out of their car windows with smiles, thumbs up, and peace signs.
of the Libertarian Party of Ventura County helped coordinate the rally
along with strong support with a large contingent from Riverside County
including Lanny Swerdlow. Marie Rutledge and Bill Britt of Long Beach
fame were active participants. Marie, recently released following a
bogus cannabis possession conviction quietly prayed that we would soon
be able to grow our medicine without fear. Marvin Chavez, a celebrated
Orange County activist, was at the rally.
The local Federal Police expelled a boisterous canine from the
grounds while they watched the crowd with suspicion and amazement.
Squad cars circled the block but didn't interfere except to ask, "Who's
in charge here?" One demonstrator was heard to answer, "Dave's not
On a somber
note, many of the rally participants adjourned following the event to
gather at the graveside of Peter McWilliams to pay their respects to a
man who fought for medical cannabis and died because a Federal Judge
denied him the use of cannabis to keep his AIDS drugs down. After the
visit to their fallen comrade, many then went to the West Hollywood
address of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center to lend their
support to an ongoing protest there.
Patients calling for their medicine and their constitutional rights
will continue. The demonstrations will be coming in greater and greater
numbers until the Federal Government reforms its unfair and cruel
* Kenny and Alfred of Woodland Hills One Hour Photo stayed open to get our pictures done. These guys were terrific.
Copyright © 2001-2003 American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, Inc. All rights reserved.