DownsizeDC.org
June 14, 2010
War on Drugs: Remembering a fallen hero
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: The Constitution was based upon the fact the federal government had exceedingly limited powers. It was only allowed to do eighteen very limited things -- the enumerated powers, period. And everything else belonged to the states and the individuals to regulate. - Peter McWilliams

A personal message from Jim Babka . . .

Best-selling author Peter McWilliams died ten years ago today, June 14, 2000.

I remember when I heard the news. I can still feel the sickness and anger that I felt that day.

I didn't know Peter personally, but I admired him. Some of my colleagues were good friends or acquaintances of his.

Peter was an eloquent champion of limited government and personal freedom. But his life was cut short by the War on Drugs. The federal government denied him the medication he needed to live and thrive.

What he went through, I wouldn't wish on anyone, let alone my family and friends. But we have it in our power to prevent similar tragedies from happening to others. Please tell Congress to return to the Constitution, and end the insane War on Drugs.

You may copy or borrow from the following letter . . .

Today marks a cruel anniversary in the barbaric history of the War on Drugs. On this day, ten years ago, the federal government caused the death of the best-selling author Peter McWilliams.
 
Do you know his story?

* In 1996 Peter was diagnosed with cancer and AIDS
* The medications he needed to treat these diseases caused extreme vomiting, and he could not keep them down long enough for them to work
* That same year, Proposition 215 legalized medical marijuana in California
* Under the recommendation of four physicians, Peter started using marijuana.
* The marijuana controlled his nausea, restored his appetite, and allowed his medications to work

Marijuana saved Peter's life, for the moment. This led him to fund research into medical marijuana and to start a business supplying it to buyer's cooperatives. The DEA took notice, raided and trashed his home, and even confiscated his computer, which contained the manuscript of his latest book.

Peter was charged with being a "drug kingpin!" And then, he was hamstrung, legally. The federal judge in the case took away his defense, barring any mention of . . .
 
* California's medical marijuana law
* his terminal illness
* how medical marijuana allowed him to keep down his medication and prolong his life

While the legal process dragged on, the government prevented Peter from using the marijuana that controlled his nausea. Peter was required to pass drug tests. He complied, even though his life was at risk, because . . .
 
* Peter's mother and brother had to put up their homes as collateral to post his bail
* If he failed the test, their homes would have been seized by the government

Peter's health deteriorated until he died at the age of 50. The vomiting had taken a tremendous toll on his alimentary canal, as well as his heart, and even his teeth. Despite the suffering, he never lost his sense of humor. And the reason I most admired him was that he felt sympathy for his tormentors, rather than rage. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=508  

Marijuana saved Peter's life, but the War on Drugs destroyed it.

Peter's most noted book was "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do." It promoted the idea that each person can do whatever they please with their own bodies and property, so long as they don't interfere with the right of others to do the same. So let me ask you:

* What business is it of yours what people choose to do with their bodies and property?
* Where in the Constitution is the federal government empowered to deny people like Peter McWilliams the medicine they need?

Sadly, Peter wasn't the only victim of your War on Drugs. He was just one victim among many. The long list of your victims includes . . .

* terminally ill patients for whom marijuana (or some other illegal drug) could ease pain and nausea
* people with psychological problems for whom now-illegal drugs could help calm them or clear their minds
* young people whose futures are ruined not because of drugs, but because of a "criminal" record
* innocent adults and children on our streets, in Mexico, and across the world caught in drug turf warfare
* innocent victims of no-knock SWAT raids and asset forfeiture
* young people who get hooked on drugs precisely because, unlike legal drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol, they're available to be bought and sold on the streets and school grounds

The United States leads the world in incarceration rates, mostly because of non-violent, consensual crimes like drug possession. Apparently President Obama wants even more people in prison. He wants increased funding for interdiction, law enforcement, and the continuation of bloody drug wars across the border.

I suggest you do something else. Read and learn from Peter's books - especially "Nobody's Business." And then put an end to this stupid, immoral, and unconstitutional War on Drugs.

END LETTER

You may send your letter through DownsizeDC.org's Educate The Powerful System.

And we urge you to spread this message far and wide. Share it on Facebook.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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