Honestly, the first time I met Julia was the last day of the EXPO, literally sitting on boxes waiting for Norm to get the truck to pack up and head home! EXHAUSTED. It really does exhaust me; every time a few days later it hits me and I get sick. I guess with all else that is going on it is just physical and mental overload. Well, she too was waiting at the top of the stairs and introduced herself. She said she hopes one day I'll draw a toon for Peter- I told her I make no promises ;-). She was very sweet, had a huge smile on her face, - she did in fact every time I saw her walking around the EXPO, she stands out as I remember as she also wears hats!
I love a HAT! I think people who can pull off a hat are lucky, not everyone can - she can pull off a hat beautifully I might add! ;-) First impressions - I liked her. It was not until very recently that I had heard from her again. All I can say is Julia is lovely.
I asked her for a blog and she happily replied -would I promote Peter's page!? Of course. Peter no longer with us - Julia continues to promote Peter, his life, poems, books and fight! The fight to Legalize Cannabis. So 'Two' Hero's.
We should all be so lucky to have someone light Julia who continues our fight long after we are gone . ♥
Julia of petermcwilliams.org
The layers I have put around your going are thin.
~ I walk softly through life, adding thickness each day.
~ a thought or a feeling
~ of you cracks the surface.
~ a call to you ~ shatters it all.
~ I spend that night in death
~ and spin the first layer of life
~ with the sunrise"
~ Peter McWilliams
When a dashing, tossel-haired poet came along in the '70s, many a young woman swooned. They gobbled up Peter's books like hotcakes, they hungered for some understanding voice to help guide them through the tumult of adolescence and young adulthood and Peter McWilliams was their answer.
Peter McWilliams wore many hats, he was a true Renaissance man. If you wanted to learn about computers, you could pick up one of Peter's manuals and laugh and learn at the same time. Peter sprinkled his sense of humour in all of his books. Even when he was hurting.
In the 70's, meditation was the in thing to do, and Peter enjoyed exploring this peaceful new existence. He wanted to help others find that shining inner peace as well and co-authored "The TM Book: How to Enjoy the Rest of Your Life" with Denise Denniston. Along the way he met Harold Bloomfield, M.D. Peter and Hari formed a friendship and wrote a few things together. Peter combined the poetry he had published in the book "Surviving" along with Melba Colgrove, Ph.D. and Harold Bloomfield's soothing advice, and voila, "How to Survive the Loss of a Love." So many have felt touched by this book, including Kristin Flor, who had just lost her dad, Cannabis warrior, Richard Flor, this past August. The book was published in 1971 and is still around to this day, a true testament to its value. This brilliant book is written so simply, it speaks to you like a comforting friend.
Peter drifted away from the computer world into the "personal growth" world. He disliked the phrase "self-help." But Peter's Life 101 series surely helped many who struggle with self-esteem. Such titles as "Life 101," "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought," "Do It! Let's Get off Our Buts" and "Love 101" inspired many and to this day, are still touching lives and hearts.
In the early 90's Peter wrote "Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do," considered the "Libertarian Bible" by many libertarians, even today. This book explains why the war on drugs is doing more harm than good . Peter wrote, "Drugs, gambling, and prostitution are the Big Three underground 'moneymakers' in consensual crime. There would be, however, significant boosts to the economy if the stigma attached to the other consensual crimes were eliminated through legalization."
In March 1996, Peter learned the devastating news that he had AIDS and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He tried every drug his doctor could come up with, but nothing seemed to relieve his nausea. It was becoming normal for Peter to spend many hours a day throwing up. He was getting hardly any work done, and he was robbed of energy. After doing much research he discovered marijuana was the one thing that helped keep his medicines down.
Proposition 215 had been passed allowing Californians access to medical marijuana. Around that time, Peter had published Todd McCormick's book, "How to Grow Medical Marijuana" and Peter was soon labeled a "drug kingpin" because the feds felt he was growing plants for profit when Peter said they were for the patients. Peter's house was raided and the DEA descended upon him in a huge thundercloud. They took his computer, and it came back totally clean, along with a surprise, a virus. People still to this day wonder why there was a mysterious house fire just a few days before Peter's death. It destroyed everything.
Peter had been jailed for 30 days, and he was told if he ever smoked cannabis again his mother and brother would lose their house. Some collateral, eh? Peter was facing 10 years of jail. So he took the plea, and he ended up dying at the young age of fifty. After he died, the Libertarians honoured Peter with the "Champion of Liberty" award. Peter's speech had touched many. He called for an end to the war on drugs and felt that marijuana should be available to anyone who needed it. "I feel that I am entitled to take medicinal marijuana. In general, I believe that everyone who has a doctor's prescription is entitled to take marijuana. I, however, do not believe that my day in court should be taken from me, and that's essentially what's happening," Peter said.
On Flag Day, June 14, 2000, Peter died.
At the Treating Yourself Expo in Toronto this year, Mr. Marco Renda, the founder, walked around in a PeterMcWilliams.org t shirt. Many patients there were moved by the words on the back of Marco's shirt:
"Nausea is an unsolved problem of medicine and marijuana is the finest anti-nausea medication known to science."
Twelve years later, people still consider him one of the Cannabis Movement's biggest heroes. But many still don't know his name. PeterMcWilliams.org strives to educate everyone about this brave, beautiful man, the same man who once penned,
"This poem is a kiss for your mind."
Peter McWilliams still lives on, in poetry and in politics, in the cannabis movement and in the meditation movement. In liberty and in love.
Peter still lives. And we're thankful for that. After all, he's got many more lives to touch.