A Very Sad Day!

June 15, 2000

Here are the details I have been able to gather. It turns out to be a double tragedy. Last Sunday, Peter had a major fire in his house. It burnt up the entire downstairs including his computer and backups.

------Peter McWilliams

Peter was just weeks away from finishing his book on the ordeal he has gone through. He was quite excited about it and motivated to finish it. I heard the firemen had to rescue Peter through his upstairs bedroom window.

The loss of this work threw Peter into shock. He was not able to talk to anyone these past few days. The loss of his book was overwhelming to him. Peter was found in his bathroom choked on his own vomit. Readers may recall his posting a few weeks back where he described in detail the routine he had worked out to quiet his stomach so it would not reject the cocktail of pills he was prescribed for his AIDS. Medical marijuana worked perfectly for this purpose, at the time of his arrest his viral count was down to zero.

Federal Judge George King ordered him not to use medical marijuana while he was on federal bond. Because his mother and brother had put up their houses for this bond, Peter felt obliged to follow this order. But it meant he could not keep down his medicine and his viral count. Over a period of time Peter developed a routine of bedrest and other precautions so that he could keep down his medicine. His health began to return but he asserted that there was no way that he could follow this routine in jail. He hoped the judge would understand this and sentence him to a period of house arrest. Peter choked to death due to the lack of a proper anti-emetic.

Forgive me for my anger, but it feels to me that he died as a direct result of the bullshit he was fighting so hard. California voters passed an initiative so that seriously ill patients like Peter could use medical marijuana. Because the federal government is unwilling to face the reality that marijuana is a medicine, Goliath had to crush innocent patients like Peter. For lack of an proper anti-emetic, Peter died. I hold the feds responsible.

I pray that somehow a copy of Peter's unfinished work surfaces so that the world can hear his final message to us. As a movement we need to find some way of honoring Peter and his work. And we need to redouble our efforts to keep our own government from killing more innocent victims.

With deep respect and loss, Don Wirtshafter