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  Libertarians To Honor Peter McWilliams
Posted by FoM on July 01, 2000 at 10:32:01 PT
For Immediate Release - July 1, 2000 
Source: DrugSense AMMA 

America Libertarians To Honor Peter McWilliams With Highest Award:

Anaheim, Ca. Peter McWilliams will be honored by the National Libertarian Party Convention, this Sunday night, as the Posthumous Winner of the Champion of Liberty Award. Ann McCormick, mother of medical marijuana activist Todd McCormick, will accept the award on behalf of Mr. McWilliams, for his brave fight for medical marijuana and against the insanity of consensual crime laws.

The Champion of Liberty Award is the Libertarian Party's highest award and it will be special at the Gala Presidential Awards and Honors Banquet at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom at 7:30 P.M. Tickets are $125 each.

Text Of The Acceptance Speech By Ann McCormick:

To began, I'd like to tell you that I would prefer to not be standing up here tonight. I would rather be sitting among you, smiling and applauding as Peter McWilliams rose and walked to the podium to thank you - and the Libertarian Party for this great honor.

I would rather be in the audience laughing at Peter's wit, being inspired by his words and leaving here energized and motivated to move forward - follow his lead - right the wrongs, heal the ills and make our world a better and definitely a happier place.

Sadly, we were not given a choice. Though none of us were ready to part with Peter, the universe had other plans. A guardian angel was needed and Peter answered the call.

Mourning Peter with tears will neither serve him, nor ourselves. It is only in our actions we can honor him and preserve his memory. It is in our continued fight for the goals he held dear that will keep the spirit of Peter McWilliams alive.

Peter had many passions. Like many of us he was born into the Cold War and McCarthyism. He heard the horror stories of what would happen if we did not "Keep the world safe for Democracy". Peter believed in Democracy. He believed in the principles set down by the founders of this nation. He believed that the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness was our birthright.

He continually strived to remind us, and our leaders of that.

Unfortunately, the government of our childhood sold us a bill of goods that time is proving to be useless.

The privileges and protections that we believed to be our birthright have been stripped away. As Big Brother becomes more intrusive; as distrust, greed and the lust for power and control grow - the fabric of our lives, our families and our nation are falling by the wayside.

When will it end? Not until each and every one of us JUST SAYS NO to this unbridled abuse of power, waste of precious resources and unspeakable crimes against the American People and the United States Constitution.

That is how we can honor Peter.

And the best way we can accomplish that is to do what he would have done between now and November - by supporting - not only with dollars - but with our voices, our time and our energy - the candidates who are committed to carry the message of freedom and liberty to city and town halls - the state houses and assemblies - and to Washington DC - to the halls of Congress and the White House.

Those candidates, worthy of our support, sit among us tonight - the honorable freedom fighters of the Libertarian Party.

Peter stated when he spoke to this convention in 1998 - ""I'm tired of people thinking that Libertarians don't have morality, that they don't have values - That's a lot of hogwash. Libertarians are the only politicians with values." Libertarians, he said, are "the beacons of liberty in this country."

Joining the Libertarian Party seemed a natural transition for Peter, a long-time critic of "consensual crime" laws. In Peter's honor, this weekend, I also have signed on the dotted line. A first step in my personal mission to preserve and honor Peter's memory is to join you officially as a member of the Libertarian Party.

Peter's philosophy, was that each and every one of us should have the liberty to do anything we desire - as long as our actions do not infringe on the rights of a non-consenting other.

In Peter's own words, " those who choose to go above and beyond that, who choose to work for change, to make the government more moral, more accountable, more "right," who look at what is and say there is great harm being done and we must stop it because we can stop it and we can stop it now--these are my heroes, my friends, my compatriots."

This brings us to the Drug War - now we need to talk about marijuana.

Peter McWilliams encounter with the healing effects of marijuana was as personal as one can get. Marijuana became Peter's lifeline to wellness.

Peter certainly was a nightmare to the proponents of the drug war. He certainly did not fit the stereotype of the hippie activist or the skid row junkie Czar McCaffrey and his buddies like to point fingers at as they scream - "See. It's a hoax! It's all a hoax."

Peter - and Todd, proved that the drug warriors claims against the evil weed were rooted in their own hysteria to keep afloat over 63 years of callous lies.

These two men embodied the most dangerous of advocates - articulate, intelligent, gifted. They shared a vision and a commitment - that they would not rest until medical marijuana is available to every sick person who needs it.

Why would they risk everything for this cause? Because they both had learned first hand that medical marijuana WORKS.

It truly is that simple.

Peter learned this lesson in 1996 - that the pharmaceutical drugs keeping his illness under control, were at the same time wrecking his body and destroying his health. These drugs produced extreme nausea and vomiting that made it damn near impossible to keep them in his system long enough for them to work. A benign ancient herb restored his health and quelled the nausea and vomiting long enough for the killer effects of the harsh chemicals to attack the disease.

Todd learned the lesson much earlier, in 1979, as a 9 year old child. I watched helplessly as my child - though being kept alive - lost all quality of life. Though the chemotherapy drugs kept him alive - they not too slowly - destroyed his health.

After 7 years of heart-wrenching suffering - I picked up a copy of Good Housekeeping in the hospital waiting room. I read the following:

"As research proceeds, scientists are finding that the major active ingredient in marijuana - tetrahydrocannabinol or THC - may be highly valuable in treating such conditions as glaucoma, asthma or even terminal cancer."

As I ran this information past trusted friends and family members, the response was always the same. "Well, Ann, if you consider the chemicals you are ALLOWING the doctors to pump through his veins. Marijuana certainly can't HURT him."

It didn't. It saved his life by preserving his health. I like to describe it this way:

It was the first domino to fall. It quelled the nausea, eased the pain, increased his appetite. As he ate, he became stronger, more active. He wanted to go outside and play! As he played, he became more fit. His muscles grew, circulation improved. The color returned to his cheeks. The doctors and modern technology saved his life. Marijuana preserved his health.

I do not advocate the use of ANY drugs for children. Not Ritalin - not Prozac - not cannabis. But, in the case of severely ill children, we must add a big asterisk to that statement. We already do - when we take our children to the hospital or the family doctor and then dutifully run to the drugstore to fill the prescriptions. The myth of a drug free society is the hoax, the farce.

In Todd's case - I am often asked if I were not afraid he would become a drug addict. The gateway theory is so firmly brainwashed into the American mentality.

The gateway to any misuse of any substance is the appeal of forbidden fruit and the LIES. The Damn LIES.

My son was not lied to. He was not given a titillating view of a benign herbal remedy. He was taught to use, not abuse. He was given facts, not lies - upon which to form his adult judgements.

In our case - what happened when we gave medical marijuana to a 9 year old. He grew up to be an environmentally responsible vegetarian - who does not drink alcohol, shuns prescription drugs and is militantly anti-tobacco.

Through years of tedious trial and error, Todd developed an holistic lifestyle that maintained his strength and appetite, controlled his pain and provided a sense of overall health, well-being and clarity. Marijuana was one spoke of that wheel, as were a vegan diet, breathing and stretching exercises, the martial arts.. He adhered to a regiment that kept him healthy, was environmentally kind and did not harm any living thing.

It is not the individual drugs that are the danger to our children - it is the lies, the propaganda, the greed and the deep insatiable need in our society to control and punish. The WAR ON DRUGS IS AMERICA'S DRUG PROBLEM.

Peter knew that. So did Todd. In truth, I believe, so do many of those who set and enforce drug policy in America. The later unfortunately, march to a different drummer than you or I. They will sell their souls, their integrity and their common sense for power and personal gain. WE WILL NOT.

For their dedication and commitment Peter and Todd were crucified - Hounded, harassed and punished. Todd sits in a federal prison, denied appeal bond by the very judge who signed Peter McWilliam's death sentence.

The prosecutors, and the judge threw the United States Constitution out the window to accomplish their goal.

We learned time and again over the past three years that Machavelianism is the accepted practice in today's United States. The U.S. Drug policy is bought and paid for - and these good public servants have learned their goosestep well.

This was a tremendous blow to both Todd and Peter who believed, with all their hearts in democracy and the Constitution. They worked diligently on their defense, believing that in court, the truth would be heard - only to be bound and gagged by the judge at the 11th hour.

Why? So the United States government could foster and protect the interests of the chosen, well-heeled, well-positioned few who run our lives and our government from behind the scenes.

YOU are the people who can - and will - break that hold. You, who reject the lies and propaganda of the two major parties - and stand firmly rooted to fight for the principles upon which this country was founded.

Mark Twain once said, "In the beginning of a change, The Patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."

As I look around this room tonight, I look at the faces of the American Patriots of the 21st century.

We are not engaged in a battle of US vs. THEM. We are engaged in a battle of TRUTH vs. LIES. We can and we will win this war. Our lives and our future depend on it.

Peter once mused, "Who can follow Jefferson?"

At the time, I didn't have an answer. Tonight I do.

For your eloquence, your love of liberty and justice, your perseverance against all adversity - big and small.

You can, Mr. McWilliams.

Your wisdom and compassion live on, like Jefferson, through your written words.

Thank you, Peter, for sharing your life and your passions with us.

God Bless You and may you rest in peace.

Contact: Steve Kubby, National Director
(530) 386-0777 (working media only, please)

The American Medical Marijuana Association
15 Monarch Bay Plaza, Box 375, Dana Point, Ca 92629
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