James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Conversation with Peter McWilliams Part 2

Further excerpts of an interview by David Jay Brown and Sherry Hall:

It's never penetrated me, that putting people in jail for individual behavior that wasn't harming others was justified. It just Is something that has never registered.

The specific motivation for Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do was the cover of either Time or Newsweek from the mid-eighties. The cover showed these peasants piled up like firewood, with their simple peasant clothing. They were all dead and bloody, with American troops standing around. They were from Columbia or Peru, or wherever the hell we were fighting at that particular point. American troops had killed them. They were simple peasants, who were picking coca, or whatever, and the headline was: "Winning the War on Drugs".

Sherry: Like It was a triumph.

Peter: Yes, as though this were something that we should all be very proud of. Inside there was a fifteen page series of articles, and not once did they question the wisdom of this- the right we had to send American troops into other countries to kill these peasants for growing coca.
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I'm less Inclined to believe that sort of conspiracy thinking about them wanting to create a police state than I am to believe the more practical thinking that the Contras needed funding. And then the Contras around the world needed funding.
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Now, of course, we know Iran-Contra was just the most obvious of what, apparently, has been an on-going process of selling drugs to Americans, in order to finance various covert operations that Congress wouldn't support. So that, I think, Is the underlying reason for the War on Drugs-- less so than they want to create a police state to control us and all that kind of stuff. I don't think they give a damn about any of that police state stuff, frankly. I think the police care about It. (laughter)

David: You mean because they're acquiring property and money?

Peter: Exactly. They just want their money to fund their favorite little causes. Follow the money--not the power--follow the money. I think that had much more to do with It than anything else.

David: But It's got to more than that. The U.S. Government would profit more from being able to tax marijuana, than from putting marijuana growers and users in prison. From an economic standpoint they'd make more money if marijuana was legal. Don't you think that they're actually afraid because marijuana tends to make people question authority and unwilling to fight in wars?

Peter: Of course they are. That was my original point about spiritual groups always banning drugs--because people who smoke marijuana tend to be very individualistic.

Sherry: They think for themselves.

Peter: It's like herding cats.

Sherry: Right, and they want us to be cattle.
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Peter: I was diagnosed in 1996 with AIDS. I had not done any drugs at all for more than two decades. My total drug usage period, In my entire life, was limited to two years In the late 1960's, when I was about eighteen, nineteen. And then for about four or five months In the mid-1970's, which had something to do with disco. (laughter) From that point on, until my diagnosis In 1996, I was completely drug-free, primarily even alcohol-free.

I still am caffiene-free, and pretty much alcohol-free, because I consider those very harsh drugs. And I'm still marijuana-free at the moment, because of my federal government. But I was drug-free for all that time. In March, 1996 I was diagnosed with AIDS and cancer, and the various anti-nausea medications that were given to me to tolerate the chemotherapy, radiation, and AIDS medications didn't work.
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I'm on an extension of my life. My life ended In 1996. So this Is freetime. This Is time granted to me from medical science and marijuana, and the least I can do Is put that same life--that extended life--on the line to combat the war machine.
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I realized that I received a wonderful sense of humor from both my ItalianSicilian mother and my Irish father. I was the product of not only two cultures known for their humor, but also two individuals known for their humor. That was a gift. It Is the greatest gift that I received. I also received the genetic gift of longevity. There's longevity in my family, and I'm sure I'd be dead now If I didn't have those good peasant genes.
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David: Why don't you flee to Holland?

Peter: (laughter) Well, I could do that. I had a whole year to that If I wanted to. I could have done it quite legally. I decided to stay and fight, and if necessary die for this particular cause. Martin Luther King said that "if you're not willing to die for something, your life's not worth living." And it's true. I decided that this is something that I would die for. I easily could have fled to Holland for that entire year. It was obvious that they were going to arrest me. It was obvious that they were trying to gather any information that they could against me. So I had a whole year In which I could have slipped away.
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The government has for so many years now said it has no medical properties, for them to now admit that It has medical properties would also be to admit that they have tortured every cancer patient who has ever been unable maintain their chemotherapy because of nausea. They will maintain that they've tortured every chronic pain patient who hasn't been able to properly treat their pain because of addiction or whatever reason.
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The internet allows for the truth to be there, and the truth to be found. That is what we have been missing all along--the truth. The fact that the media has chosen to filter out the truth about drugs and the Drug War for all this time will, I think, be a black stain on media's record, frankly. But, with the Internet, the truth Is out there. The truth Is definitely on the side of ending prohibition. So now--thanks to the internet--it is just a matter of time.

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