Libertarian Party of San Francisco Media Release
13 June 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Francisco, June 13, 2002 - The Libertarian Party of San Francisco will participate in a statewide memorial for the late Peter McWilliams this Saturday, June 15. McWilliams, a Libertarian activist killed in the War on Drugs, will be remembered with a protest against federal drug policies from 1 to 6 p.m. outside the Phillip Burton Federal Office Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave., in San Francisco.
Peter McWilliams was an author and activist whose best-known work was the best-selling Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do, a self-published treatise on victimless crimes such as sodomy and drug use. An AIDS and cancer patient, McWilliams used marijuana to combat nausea associated with treating his diseases. He joined the Libertarian Party in a nationally-televised speech at the Libertarian National Convention in 1998. Less than two years later, he was dead.
The LPSF will be joined by the Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County and Libertarians from around northern California in the San Francisco action to remember Peter's life and untimely death at the hands of federal drug warriors. McWilliams was arrested in July 1998, on the heels of his speech, for daring to finance research into medical marijuana in compliance with California state law. He and his co-author, Todd McCormick, were charged under federal racketeering statutes. McWilliams's bond was provided by his mother's and brother's houses, and, unwilling to risk their homes by violating the terms of his bail, he avoided marijuana. As a result, his viral load soared and eventually he choked to death on his own vomit on the morning of June 14, 2000.
The Libertarian Party of California is organizing this statewide memorial and protest to draw attention to the ongoing and misbegotten War on Drugs, which continues to claim innocent victims like Peter McWilliams. Libertarians oppose laws against any voluntary activity of consenting adults, including the informed consumption of potentially harmful chemicals. This New Prohibition is an escalating threat to civil rights, and has spawned a criminal network far beyond the worst excesses of the gangland slayings of the first Prohibition.
The Libertarian Party of San Francisco (www.lpsf.org) is the local affiliate of the Libertarian Party (www.lp.org), the largest "third party" in the United States. Libertarians believe in personal freedom, in both social and economic spheres, and in minimal government to protect those freedoms. The Libertarian Party is running a full slate of partisan candidates and many non-partisan candidates in the 2002 San Francisco elections.
About Peter McWilliams:
Author and Libertarian activist Peter McWilliams died in 2000 as a direct result of federal drug prosecution that prevented him from using his legal medical marijuana. More information about McWilliams's life and death, including the full text of several of his books, can be found at a memorial Web site (www.petermcwilliams.org).
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