James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Champion of Liberty

Ann McCormick, mother of Todd McCormick, Peter McWilliams' "partner in crime," accepts on Peter's behalf the Libertarian Party's Champion of Liberty award in 2000. Excerpts of speech:

Peter had many passions. Like many of us he was born into the Cold War and McCarthyism. He heard the horror stories of what would happen if we did not "Keep the world safe for Democracy". Peter believed in Democracy. He believed in the principles set down by the founders of this nation. He believed that the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness was our birthright.

He continually strived to remind us, and our leaders of that.

Unfortunately, the government of our childhood sold us a bill of goods that time is proving to be useless.

The privileges and protections that we believed to be our birthright have been stripped away. As Big Brother becomes more intrusive; as distrust, greed and the lust for power and control grow - the fabric of our lives, our families and our nation are falling by the wayside.

When will it end? Not until each and every one of us JUST SAYS NO to this unbridled abuse of power, waste of precious resources and unspeakable crimes against the American People and the United States Constitution.

Peter's philosophy, was that each and every one of us should have the liberty to do anything we desire - as long as our actions do not infringe on the rights of a non-consenting other.

In Peter's own words, " those who choose to go above and beyond that, who choose to work for change, to make the government more moral, more accountable, more "right," who look at what is and say there is great harm being done and we must stop it because we can stop it and we can stop it now--these are my heroes, my friends, my compatriots."

Peter McWilliams encounter with the healing effects of marijuana was as personal as one can get. Marijuana became Peter's lifeline to wellness.

Peter certainly was a nightmare to the proponents of the drug war. He certainly did not fit the stereotype of the hippie activist or the skid row junkie Czar McCaffrey and his buddies like to point fingers at as they scream - "See. It's a hoax! It's all a hoax."

Peter - and Todd, proved that the drug warriors claims against the evil weed were rooted in their own hysteria to keep afloat over 63 years of callous lies.

These two men embodied the most dangerous of advocates - articulate, intelligent, gifted. They shared a vision and a commitment - that they would not rest until medical marijuana is available to every sick person who needs it.

Why would they risk everything for this cause? Because they both had learned first hand that medical marijuana WORKS.

It truly is that simple.

The gateway to any misuse of any substance is the appeal of forbidden fruit and the LIES. The Damn LIES.

My son was not lied to. He was not given a titillating view of a benign herbal remedy. He was taught to use, not abuse. He was given facts, not lies - upon which to form his adult judgements.

In our case - what happened when we gave medical marijuana to a 9 year old. He grew up to be an environmentally responsible vegetarian - who does not drink alcohol, shuns prescription drugs and is militantly anti-tobacco.

Through years of tedious trial and error, Todd developed an holistic lifestyle that maintained his strength and appetite, controlled his pain and provided a sense of overall health, well-being and clarity. Marijuana was one spoke of that wheel, as were a vegan diet, breathing and stretching exercises, the martial arts.. He adhered to a regiment that kept him healthy, was environmentally kind and did not harm any living thing.

It is not the individual drugs that are the danger to our children - it is the lies, the propaganda, the greed and the deep insatiable need in our society to control and punish. The WAR ON DRUGS IS AMERICA'S DRUG PROBLEM.

Peter knew that. So did Todd. In truth, I believe, so do many of those who set and enforce drug policy in America. The later unfortunately, march to a different drummer than you or I. They will sell their souls, their integrity and their common sense for power and personal gain. WE WILL NOT.

For their dedication and commitment Peter and Todd were crucified - Hounded, harassed and punished. Todd sits in a federal prison, denied appeal bond by the very judge who signed Peter McWilliam's death sentence.

The prosecutors, and the judge threw the United States Constitution out the window to accomplish their goal.

We learned time and again over the past three years that Machavelianism is the accepted practice in today's United States. The U.S. Drug policy is bought and paid for - and these good public servants have learned their goosestep well.

This was a tremendous blow to both Todd and Peter who believed, with all their hearts in democracy and the Constitution. They worked diligently on their defense, believing that in court, the truth would be heard - only to be bound and gagged by the judge at the 11th hour.

Why? So the United States government could foster and protect the interests of the chosen, well-heeled, well-positioned few who run our lives and our government from behind the scenes.

YOU are the people who can - and will - break that hold. You, who reject the lies and propaganda of the two major parties - and stand firmly rooted to fight for the principles upon which this country was founded.

Mark Twain once said, "In the beginning of a change, The Patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."

As I look around this room tonight, I look at the faces of the American Patriots of the 21st century.

We are not engaged in a battle of US vs. THEM. We are engaged in a battle of TRUTH vs. LIES. We can and we will win this war. Our lives and our future depend on it.

Peter once mused, "Who can follow Jefferson?"

At the time, I didn't have an answer. Tonight I do.

For your eloquence, your love of liberty and justice, your perseverance against all adversity - big and small.

You can, Mr. McWilliams.

Your wisdom and compassion live on, like Jefferson, through your written words.

Thank you, Peter, for sharing your life and your passions with us.

God Bless You and may you rest in peace.

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