Peter McWilliams Released on Bond 8/21/98

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Best selling author and medical marijuana activist Peter McWilliams, held for over a month on a nine-count federal indictment will finally be released from custody tonight (8/19) after posting a quarter of a million dollar bond. McWilliam's attorneys and supporters had argued that the bond was excessive, and McWilliams himself had previously offered to turn in his passport to insure that he would indeed appear for his court date, but these efforts were unsuccessful in getting the bond reduced.

During his incarceration, McWilliams was forced to file an appeal to the court in hopes of ordering his jailers to provide him with his complex regimen of AIDS medication, which he takes six times daily.

The charges against McWilliams stem from his involvement with Todd McCormick, another medical marijuana user and activist, to whom McWilliams had advanced money to write a book on the medical uses of cannabis. McCormick was arrested last year when police found over 4,000 plants in his rented home. McCormick, already free on bond on state charges, is now also under federal indictment for the same offense.

"Peter McWilliams is a threat to no one," McCormick told The Week Online. "His incarceration, and the deleterious impact that it has had on his health, is exactly what California voters wanted to avoid when they passed Proposition 215. Peter is an outspoken advocate, and therefore an inviting target. But he is also a man who suffers from both cancer and AIDS. What kind of a government locks up its sick and dying people over something like this? He's not accused of diverting medical marijuana to the street. He's never hurt a soul. The mistreatment of Peter McWilliams by the justice system is the real crime here."

McWilliams distributed the following note to his supporters on the Internet, late last night:


I am out,

I am home.

I am okay.

I am going to bed.

Take good care,


Peter McWilliams

Visit and for ongoing coverage of the McWilliams case.

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Issue #55, 8/21/98 Prison, Probation and Parole Populations Growing Rapidly | American Psychological Association Calls for Repeal of Mandatory Minimums | Conference: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex, Berkeley, CA 25-Sep - 27-Sep | Giuliani Carries out Methadone Threat | Methadone Conferences Coming Up -- In New York! | Report: Marijuana Prohibition Has Not Curtailed Marijuana Use by Adolescents | West Australia Decriminalizes Marijuana On Trial Basis | Peter McWilliams Released on Bond | War on Drugs Blamed for Lapse in Ethical Standards of Federal Prosecutors | Driving While Black: Legislative Alert from the American Civil Liberties Union | Editorial: One in Thirty-Five
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