Peter McWilliams

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Peter McWilliams
Personal Details
Birth: August 5, 1949
Death: June 14, 2000(2000-06-14) (aged 50)

Peter McWilliams (August 5, 1949 - June 14, 2000), was a world renown author of many books, a libertarian activist, and an advocate of full legalization of marijuana. He spoke at the 1998 Libertarian Party convention calling out to Libertarians to work for medicinal marijuana "for our children."


In 1996 McWilliams was diagnosed with both cancer and AIDS. Subsequently, he was required to take a lot of pills--14 different medications. But like many cancer patients, Peter was unable to keep his pills down to stay alive due to intense nausea, thereby rendering the pills useless. His 15th drug, an antinausea medication, wasn't working. So, instead, he began taking marijuana. Like many other cancer patients, smoking marijuana relieved the intense nausea and also soothed the constant pain he was in, allowing him to keep his pills down and thus stay alive.

Medicinal Marijuana Activism

Once Peter discovered that marijuana was the most "benign medical substance known to human beings," he decided to dedicate his life in the struggle to legalize medicinal marijuana throughout the country.

Cause of Death: An Overdose Of Government

The Federal government has decided that smoking marijuana, even for medical purposes, is a crime. In 1998, McWilliams was arrested for violating the Federal marijuana law. The judge prohibited him from pointing-out that medical marijuana is legal in California, which was his only defense.

In 2000, he lost the case. No longer allowed to use marijuana, his pain and nausea returned, and he once again couldn't keep his medicine down. He subsequently died a couple weeks later on Wednesday, June 14, 2000, reportedly choking on his own vomit.

Quotes by Peter McWilliams

  • "Marijuana is the finest anti-nausea medication known to science." -- 1998 LP National Convention
  • "Within seconds of the first toke, the nausea was gone, vanished with the smoke into the air." -- A Question of Compassion: An AIDS-Cancer Patient Explores Medical Marijuana
  • "The Drug War is another Viet Nam." -- The DEA Wishes Me a Nice Day
  • "In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts."
  • "To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all." -- Life 101

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