Search Results: mcwilliams (8)

R.I.P. Peter McWilliams (1950-2000)

By Robert Platshorn
The Silver Tour
Long before he was incarcerated, Peter McWilliams wrote about the injustice of our cannabis laws. Peter’s death is significant only as statistic in our insane drug war. There have been thousands of Peters who lost their lives as a result of a cruel and impersonal system that incarcerates hundreds of thousands of our citizens — ordinary, hardworking Americans who have committed no crime against person, property or society.
If you believe that Peter was singled out for his activism, you have nothing left to fight for. He’s gone! The truth is he was treated like every other prisoner in the federal justice system. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of marijuana offenders, both in and out of prison, who are in exactly the same situation as Peter at the time of his death.
In my 30 years in federal prison for marijuana, I saw dozens of pointless unnecessary deaths, and hundreds who lost limbs or contracted debilitating diseases simply for lack of treatment.

Recollection Books

​Peter McWilliams was many things: author, publisher, photographer, poet and activist, among others. But one of the most important things McWilliams was, was an inspiration. His courage and charisma were and continue to be a source of strength to many who are struggling with illness and with the injustice of our marijuana laws.

He had a remarkable career starting in the 1970s, writing more than 40 books, including works on depression, losing a loved one, computers, and poetry. Several of Peter’s books made The New York Times Top 10 nonfiction bestseller list.
Peter’s 1993 book Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do remains one of the greatest affirmations of the right of citizens to act and live in any peaceful, honest lifestyle, including their inalienable right to drugs and especially cannabis. It is regarded by many as a “libertarian Bible,” with its emphasis on personal freedom and responsibility.

Marc Emery compared the oppression of the cannabis community to that of the Jewish people

By Bryan Punyon
Special to Toke of the Town

Fair Warning: This article begins with material that some may find offensive, but for a point.
“Why do Concentration Camp shower heads have eleven holes? Because Jews only have ten fingers.”
Find me a joke about the Cannabis community that borders on that kind of black humor. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
“What’s the difference between a Jew and a pizza? Pizza doesn’t scream when you put it in the oven.”
Same challenge. Still waiting.
“Holocaust jokes aren’t funny, Anne Frankly, I won’t stand for them!”
Gotta love wordplay. Some of my favorite jokes are the result of clever word choice. Still nothing on the offensive Cannabis jokes? Well, then.
Many will find these kinds of jokes offensive. To be honest, they’re some of the tamest Jewish jokes that I know. It’s called Gallows Humor, the art of turning tragedy into hilarity, because the alternative to doing so is to give in to despair and disgust. For an oppressed people to claim the language used in their own dehumanization is a form of cultural empowerment, and part of that includes the use of their own slurs and derogatory humor.
 If a Jew tells Holocaust jokes, do you have the right to be offended?
We will return to that question shortly.
I am a Jew, and I am a Cannabis activist, and I’m pretty annoyed that Marc Emery would equate one with the other

F smoke in 2012 4 x 6 3.jpg

Medical marijuana patients and supporters will converge on Wednesday, July 4, in the nation’s capitol for the Rally to Reschedule Marijuana as Medicine and 43rd Annual Smoke-In. Oddly, given the fact that the event continues to be labeled a “Smoke-In” after four decades, attendees are being asked not to smoke cannabis.
The event will begin at noon across from the White House at Lafayette Park (located at 16th Street and H Street). Scheduled to appear are medical marijuana pioneer Dennis Peron, Richard Eastman, Kim Quiggle, John Pylka, Miguel Lopez, Julia (curator of and Wayward Bill at a rally to educate elected officials and voters, march and demonstrate for First Amendment rights, and the right to choose marijuana as medicine.
Demonstrators will tell President Obama, “Keep your promise,” asking him to end the federal raids against state-legalized medical marijuana dispensaries.
The U.S. Marijuana Party, chaired by Wayward Bill, will be holding it’s first annual political convention at the Smoke-In.

Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz: “While this office does not intend to focus its limited resources on seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment program in compliance with state law, individuals and organizations who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, will be in violation of federal law and be subject to federal enforcement.”

Medical marijuana advocates in Massachusetts say they’ll take their cause to the ballot if the Legislature won’t pass it, but the usual objections are being raised by law enforcement officials, who say that legalizing medicine cannabis could put the state at odds with the federal government.

The Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana bill would protect registered patients, doctors, caregivers and dispensers from local and state marijuana laws, but not from the federal law enforcement like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). If the Legislature rejects or fails to act on the measure by May 2, certified signatures of 11,485 Massachusetts voters are needed to place a binding question on November’s general election ballot.

Seriously ill patients don’t have to fear a knock on the door from gun-toting feds, according to White House and U.S. Department of Justice officials, but those same officials told the Boston Herald they won’t turn a blind eye to others who break federal laws, including doctors and state-licensed dispensaries, reports Laurel J. Sweet.

All photos by Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ unless otherwise noted

Hempfest 2011, the biggest ever (as in, for the first time ever, three days, man) is still happening at Myrtle Edwards Park in Seattle until 10 p.m. Sunday night. The first two days saw plenty of memorable moments.

For me, speaking for the first time from the Share Parker Memorial Main Stage on Friday was a sure enough rush. Looking out, seeing and hearing that many cheering, happy people was definitely one of the high points of my weekend — and one that I was able to replicate again on Saturday from the Seeley Memorial Stage, where I spoke just before 4:20 and got back up onstage with a big crowd of folks at the magic moment.
Here are some of the best photos from this weekend to remember.

Graphic: Seattle Hempfest

There has to be a Number One in every category. When it comes to pot rallies, Seattle Hempfest is the biggest and arguably the best on the planet.

The monster marijuana rally — or “protestival,” as organizer Vivian McPeak puts it — is marking 20 years of existence with this year’s event, held at Myrtle Edwards Park on the beautiful Seattle waterfront — and for the first time ever, Hempfest is slated for three days.
The party begins at high noon on Friday, August 19 and continues until 8 p.m., then things start up again at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, lasting until 8 each night.