Peter McWilliams was born 5 August 1949 to a Roman Catholic family in Detroit, Michigan, USA.
During his life, he authored nearly 40 books, including The TM Book in 1975 with Denise Denniston, which was at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for three weeks.
McWilliams was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1996. He was arrested and charged with growing marijuana in 1997. He was released from custody on $250,000 bail and with the “condition that he not use marijuana.”
McWilliams died on June 14, 2000 in his Los Angeles home, of AIDS-related non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. At the time he was awaiting sentencing for his conviction of conspiring to “possess, manufacture and sell marijuana.”
Cannabis activist Richard Cowan and many critics of the drug policies in the United States have described his death as murder by the U. S. government, insofar as they denied him the use of the medical marijuana which might have prevented his death. William F. Buckley stated that McWilliams was vomiting and in pain when he died.
Ain’t nobody’s business if you do … but if what you do is deny people life-saving medicine, it is everybody’s business. You should be locked up and released only when you no longer pose a threat to other people’s well-being. Legalise medical cannabis. Anything less is a non-consensual crime.
RIP Peter McWilliams.
(Of particular interest to Christian libertarians are the following sections of a chapter in Part IV.
The Ministry of Health is asking for help to shape the National Drug Policy, which sets out the Government’s approach for tobacco, alcohol, illegal and other drugs.
NORML has provided a handy guide to people and organisations make submissions.
Submissions close 28 February 2014.
Quick off the blocks is Billy McKee of GreenCross with a proposal for a licensing system as a method of removing drug use from the justice system and placing it in the health system with appropriate measures for assistance where there is abuse or misuse.
In brief, the Submission proposes a licensing system for all drug use, including the most commonly used drugs in NZ being alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, methamphetamines, opiates, LSD, MDMA and crack/cocaine. The licensing system seeks to educate any person wishing to use a drug and then, following certain criteria being met (as detailed in the Submission) a license will be issued to that person in respect of that particular drug. The license will work similarly to a Subway card upon each purchase which will be centrally recorded and subject to the Privacy Act. Any unusual or suspected misuse by any person which arouses the attention of special health and social services allocated for this purpose, will result in the relevant service seeking to assist the person should there turn out to be drug abuse/misuse and a drug problem.
It’s an interesting idea that might even work. The licensing of medical cannabis users (by way of a a prescription or letter from a licensed health practitioner) is, of course, commonplace in more enlightened parts of the world. Drinking permits have been tried in India and Tonga with some success.
Today was Peter Dunne’s first day back as Associate Minister of Health. I never thought I’d say it, but welcome back, Peter!
Yesterday was Todd McClay’s last day as interim Associate Minister of Health. Yesterday McClay went full retard.
In his swansong announcement, McClay welcomed the decision by the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority to withdraw five psychoactive products from the market.
The five products were: Anarchy, Voodoo, Karma, AK47, and Northern Lights Primo. Their interim product approval numbers were (respectively): P0002, P0003, P0004, P0008, and P0038. Their licences have now been revoked.
Let’s take a closer look at two of these products, AK47 and Northern Lights Primo. Here are screenshots from the Ministry of Health’s interim product approvals page prior to their revocation. (Google’s latest cached copy of the page is here.)
I included two additional products which have interim product approval, Amsterdam Long Island Tea and Tai High Purple Passion. Note the following facts.
The product Northern Lights Primo, which contains CL-2201 at 50 mg per gram, has been taken off the shelves. Meanwhile, the product Amsterdam Long Island Tea, which contains CL-2201 at 50 mg per gram, stays on the shelves. The active ingredient in both products is exactly the same. The amount of the active ingredient in milligrams per gram is exactly the same. The only difference between the two products is different packaging. One gets to go, the other gets to stay. Wat.
The product AK-47, which contains 5F-PB-22 at 60 mg per gram, has been taken off the shelves. Meanwhile, the product Tai High Purple Passion, which contains 5F-PB-22 at 60 mg per gram, stays on the shelves. (PB-22-F and 5F-PB-22 are the same chemical.) The active ingredient in both products is exactly the same. The amount of the active ingredient in milligrams per gram is exactly the same. The only difference between the two products is different packaging. One gets to go, the other gets to stay. Wut.
Unless people smoke the packaging (I think not) we have two pairs of identical products. Todd McClay says
These withdrawals underscore the effectiveness of the Psychoactive Substances Act in getting harmful products off the shelves
I am satisfied that one of my last acts as Associate Health Minister is to see the removal of yet another suite of products that would have risked the health of young New Zealanders.
He might as well have said
These withdrawals underscore the ineffectiveness of the Psychoactive Substances Act in getting harmful products off the shelves.
I am satisfied that one of my last acts as Associate Health Minister is to see the non-removal of yet another suite of products that risk the health of young New Zealanders.
Is Todd McClay a complete idiot? I think so. (He’s just been made the Associate Minister of Tourism. I think the tourism industry should be very worried.)
But there’s quite possibly something more sinister going on. Industrial sabotage. Apparently
The five brands were previously assessed by the Ministry of Health and in August were judged low risk enough to be sold to the public.
But a spike of calls to the National Poisons Centre will lead to a recall today of the AK47, Anarchy, Karma, Northern Lights Primo and Voodoo brands.
A “spike” of calls. Does this indicate the depths to which some operators in the legal highs industry will stoop? Hoax calls to the National Poisons Centre, advising of “adverse reactions” to competitors’ products? I don’t know. But something doesn’t seem at all right to me.
What I do know is that the Ministry of Health is a serious health risk. The morons who comprise the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority are supposed to assess the scientific evidence of potential harms of these products. Sorry, guys, but self-selected self-reports phoned in to the National Poisons Centre hardly count as science. You might as well consult the Amsterdam Long Island Tea leaves you’ve been smoking!
Regular readers may have noticed that my posts these days are, as often as not, about cannabis law reform. I certainly have.
Cannabis is insanely high in the “intoxicating mix of Christianity, libertarianism and death metal” mentioned under “Contributors” in the right-hand sidebar. Seems there’s more tokin’ going on than “slaggin’ socialists and headbangin’!”
But there is a very good reason for this blog contributor’s unbalanced content.
The Parliamentary term in New Zealand is three years and this year we’re due for a general election. Likely, it will be in November. I intend to stand again as a list candidate and as an electorate candidate for the party of which I am currently the Acting President, viz., the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Until then, dear reader, there will be no respite from my drug-induced ramblings!
2014 is election year! The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is aiming high!
Our goal is to crack the 5% theshold and get MPs in Parliament. Failing that, we intend at least to frighten the Labour and Green horses into legalising cannabis in the next Parliamentary term. I hope that there is a Labour-led coalition in government by 2015. (Politicians are like diapers. They need changing often and for the same reason.) And I hope that the next government does our job for us, with or without our Parliamentary help. So that I can get off my hobby horse.
Why am I even in the cannabis law reform movement?
To begin with, I got involved for much the same reasons that most people do and believe most of the things they do and believe—emotional and psychological reasons. I wanted to justify my own behaviour. The process of justifying my own behaviour led me, after a while, to my libertarian political stance. So, all good!
Today I still believe that there is nothing wrong with drug use provided that it does not interfere with what one is supposed to be doing, viz., leading a good Christian life and, in doing so, leading by example. I won’t be the judge of how much room that leaves for tokin’ up. Not as much as I’d like, probably. 🙁
I read recently that we are fast approaching the day when coming out of the closet as a Bible-believing Christian is harder than coming out as a homosexual. Actually, I think we’re pretty much already there. Coming out of the closet as a cannabis user is also hard. But, these days, even my mum knows I smoke marijuana, and I go to church with her on Sundays. Two out of three ain’t bad. 😉
But coming out of the closet as a cannabis user remains difficult for many. Mainly because of its illegality. For obvious reasons, this is a major problem for the cannabis law reform movement. An untold number of respected members of society are regular cannabis users, but they won’t come out as regular cannabis users and voice their support for cannabis law reform, because they want to stay respected members of society—and they want to keep their careers.
Which brings me to why I’m still in the cannabis law reform movement.
I no longer feel any need to justify my own behaviour. I live like it’s legal. Even if I didn’t smoke cannabis, today I can legally get stoned out of my tiny mind on any one of eleven different synthetic cannabinoids contained in over thirty products given interim product approval by the Ministry of Health.
My involvement in the cannabis law reform movement isn’t now, and never was solely, about justifying my own behaviour. My involvement is about stopping the massive injustice of cannabis prohibition. Arresting people for smoking a God-given herb that makes them happy is criminally insane. I have next-to-no words for people who support laws (such as we have now) that prevent medical cannabis patients from getting the medicine they need. They’re evil beyond the pale.
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is the only political party in New Zealand with a sunset clause in its very name. Once cannabis is legalised, the party will deregister. And I can have my life back. 🙂
Remember when the Roman Catholic church split in half in the 15th century AD. It was over the sale of indulgences, which were bought to minimise the extent of purgatory one would have to suffer. Interesting how history repeats itself. If you own machinery or livestock you could be imposed with a carbon tax. How does Carbon tax work? much like indulgences. If you don’t pay your carbon tax, you will anger the weather Gods and as a consequence you will be inflicted with typhoons, droughts, tsunamis and God knows what else.
Are you afraid global warming will destroy the earth?
“No one knows the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father” Matt 24:36
Those on the left who think CO2 emissions are to blame for disasters, are much like those on the right who blame homosexuals and fornicators. Truth is Jesus return will cause the world to end, so be watchful!
At the end of the week, sit back, chill, and grab a cold one.
Cannabis intended for recreational purposes can now be bought and sold legally in Colorado.
This is a very good thing indeed.
Nothing very bad has happened and nothing very bad is going to happen.
We’re going to legalise cannabis here in New Zealand, too. Sooner or later.
In this series of posts (the next two instalments are to feature Washington and Uruguay) I’m going to look at the specific regulatory measures which, of course, vary across each jurisdiction. Having done so, we can then ask, which legalisation model should New Zealand adopt?
grow up to six cannabis plants (with no more than half being mature flowering plants), privately in a locked space
legally possess all cannabis from the plants they grow (as long as it stays where it was grown),
legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis while traveling,
give as a gift up to one ounce to other citizens 21 years of age or older.
Consumption is permitted in a manner similar to alcohol, with equivalent offenses proscribed for driving.
Public consumption remains illegal.
Amendment 64 also provides for licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores.
Note that Colorado’s is a mixed model. Cannabis cultivation, possession and use is effectively legalised for the individual user. Commercial cultivation and sale are heavily regulated—but hardly more so than anything else in today’s heavily regulated world.
I have no principled objection to the age limit of 21. But I think it’s unrealistically high, also I think the prohibition on public consumption is a bit austere and certainly hard to enforce. Who’s going to stop you getting high when you go hiking in one of Colorado’s beautiful National Parks?
Overall, I think Colorado’s on to a real winner. 🙂
There was plenty of paperwork to keep the bureaucrats happy.
Governor Hickenlooper signed several bills into law on May 28, 2013 implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on the Implementation of Amendment 64. On September 9, 2013, the Colorado Department of Revenue adopted final regulations for recreational marijuana establishments, implementing the Colorado Retail Marijuana Code (HB 13-1317). On September 16, 2013, the Denver City Council adopted an ordinance for retail marijuana establishments.
The first stores officially opened on January 1, 2014. The state prepared for an influx of tourists with extra police officers posted in Denver. Safety fears led to officials seeking to limit use of the drug in popular ski resorts.
Cue an interesting story about the effects of cannabis on skiing from Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico and the Libertarian Party’s candidate in the 2012 presidential elections, in an interview with Playboy Magazine.
PLAYBOY: Was there a specific moment, an epiphany, when you stopped drugs?
JOHNSON: I stopped pot because of a specific experience. I was going to be a professional ski racer and pursued professional racing. I skied a couple 125-day seasons in northern Idaho after college. I was racing gates every day. I never made a nickel at professional ski racing–I was lousy at it but I pursued it. One day, I set up a set of gates and punched my stopwatch and skied down the hill. I did it in 17 seconds. I went up the lift and skied down through the gates again and made 16 seconds. I went through the course again and did it in 15 seconds. The next time I got on the chairlift, a ski patrolman whipped out a joint–that was a common occurrence. We smoked pot up to the top of the lift and I went through the course a fourth time. Oh my God, I had the fastest run? It was smooth, perfect. But then I looked at my watch. I was thinking, 13 seconds! But it was 19 seconds! Whoa! It was a revelation. If I did 19 and thought I was so much faster than I really was, then this is carrying over into other areas, too. I thought, I don’t need this.
PLAYBOY: Was it the last joint?
JOHNSON: Not the last, but it broke the habit. People think they can function just as well, but they can’t. A lot of athletes smoke pot because they can’t drink and perform. Yes, you can smoke pot and perform–you can get away with it unless they are testing for drugs–but it has an impact. It has an impact on everything you do. When the Olympic snowboarder tested positive for marijuana, you have to think what he could have accomplished if he hadn’t been smoking.
PLAYBOY: Maybe the pot relaxed him so he could perform as well as he did.
JOHNSON: I don’t think so. I would argue that he could be that much better if he did no drugs.
Notice how God said “let there be light”, he didn’t say “let there be electromagnetic radiation.”
In science light is electromagnetic radiation, but what does the bible say about light?
Perhaps light(s) represents daytime, brightness, illumination, and exposure to truth.
And God said “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw the light was good and separated the light from darkness. Gen 1:3-4
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning, my God turns my darkness into light. Psalm 18:28
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matt 5:14-16
In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:4-5
Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”
This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
“Who are you?” they asked.
“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as he spoke, many believed in him. (NIV)
The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”
“I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
“You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (NIV)
There’s no doubt that Dunne is a shrewd political operator. When he saw trouble coming, he resigned from his office of his own accord, then patiently waited to be reinstated. (Perhaps that’s exactly what the Vice President of the ALCP is up to, too, only time will tell. 🙂 )
Is this the arch-fiend returning to the scene of the crime, to make sure the ongoing chemical warfare on our nation’s most vulnerable is waged with all the conscientiousness of an Adolf Eichmann?
Or is this the author of a well-intentioned, albeit flawed, piece of legislation returning to put things to rights and make sure the continuing story, which has totally lost the plot, at least has a happy ending?
Let’s make sure to keep in mind the following two salient facts.
As promised, we are reversing the onus of proof. If they cannot prove that a product is safe, then it is not going anywhere near the marketplace
None of these products will come to market if they have not been proven safe.
Secondly, here‘s what Peter Dunne said on his personal blog not so long ago, after he’d stepped down as Associate Minister of Health.
Just over a couple of months ago, the Psychoactive Substances Act of which I was the principal architect was implemented. It provides for the first time for a regulated market for the sale and supply of psychoactive substances, based on the level of risk they pose to the user. It is attracting interest from around the globe, as an innovative solution to an international problem, and, after a few not unanticipated teething problems, seems to be settling down quite well.
Now, here is where I have been thinking. Although the Psychoactive Substances Act was intended to deal with that issue only, and not to have wider application, it does occur to me that, if after a period of time, it is shown to be working effectively, it could well become the model by which narcotic drugs, currently controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act, are regulated for the future. The yardstick of level of risk – based on sound pharmacological and toxicological evidence – would become the determinant of availability, not public sentiment or prejudice.
I am not suggesting a revolution, but simply observing that the regulatory regime introduced for psychoactive substances could well have wider application and that we should not be averse to that possibility. After all, most experts now concede the so-called “war” on drugs has failed, and new initiatives are required.
I think we should do all we can to encourage Peter Dunne’s new thinking about cannabis (which, surely, is the drug he had in mind) and hold him to his earlier promise that other psychoactive products will not come to market if they have not been proven safe.
I think Peter Dunne should take the following Goode advice (and make good his promise).
Herbal cannabis should be given immediate interim product approval under the Psychoactive Substances Act says Dr. Richard Goode, Vice President of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.
“Let’s legalise cannabis now, so the Ministry of Health can have all the time it needs to get its act sorted, and cannabinoid connoisseurs can continue to get high on the real deal,” Dr. Goode said.
Some politicians I’ve never much liked. Including Peter Dunne who stalled cannabis law reform for years, and John Banks who knifed his running mate Don Brash in the back over the cannabis law reform issue. But Banksie came good before he took his final bow. Will Peter Dunne yet surprise us all? I sincerely hope so.