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Peter McWilliams

Peter McWilliams

It was with great sadness that I learned of the recent death of best-selling author, Peter McWilliams. Peter was found dead in his home on June 14, 2000. The cause of his death , according to sources, was that he choked on his vomit.

Peter had suffered from AIDS and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma since 1996, and had used medical marijuana to suppress the nausea that was a common side-effect to the potent medications needed to keep him alive. His marijuana use was legal, thanks to California’s Proposition 215, which passed in 1996 and legalized the use of marijuana for treatment of illness.

Denied his medicine (marijuana) as a result of an arrest for possessing his medicine (marijuana), McWilliams died, as there was no other medication which prevented him from vomiting.

He authored many wonderful books, including How to Survive the Loss of a Love; Life 101: To Love Oneself Is the Beginning of a Lifelong Romance and my personal favorite, Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading the brilliant writings of Peter McWilliams, you may access his books in their entirety at his web site at For those of you interested in learning more about the war on drugs from a sensible perspective, I highly recommend checking out Ain’t Nobody’s Business If you Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country. You won’t regret it. You’ll learn a lot of wonderful information in a way that will make you laugh and you’ll wonder how in the world it got this bad. You may even be inspired to do something about it.

Let’s come together in peace and love and stop denying sick people a means to life, liberty and happiness. Why must we be a society that punishes and discriminates against people for reasons that really don’t make sense. A little more compassion and tolerance sounds like a real good thing to me.

I look forward to that kind of a world in the near future. Read, learn, educate, speak up for what you know to be true. The truth shall set us free. Together, we will make a difference.

Posted by A. Shapiro
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