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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 were blind.

Under the 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.

Hal Chirpin 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 here".

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 policies.

* 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. Archive