DEA Raids Home of Medical Marijuana Writer
On December 17, DEA agents in Los Angeles searched the home of best-selling author Peter McWilliams, who is writing a book about the medical use of marijuana called "A Question of Compassion: An AIDS-Cancer Patient Explores Medical Marijuana" (Sue McAllister, "Agents Raid Home of Writer on Medical Use of Marijuana," Los Angeles Times, December 18, 1997, p. B12).
McWilliams, 48, had been questioned in connection with the investigation of medical marijuana activist Todd McCormick (see "California Medical Marijuana Activist Charged With Marijuana Cultivation," NewsBriefs, August 1997). McCormick was arrested July 29, 1997 in a rented Bel Air home with more than 4,000 marijuana plants and is awaiting Federal trial. McCormick said he was cultivating the plants to treat his cancer and to contribute research to McWilliams' upcoming book. Authorities said they believe McCormick was supplying marijuana to cannabis buyers clubs throughout California.
McWilliams said he was at home working on his new book at 6:30 a.m. when DEA agents arrived with a search warrant. He said agents spent about three hours searching his home and a house two doors down that he owns, where he lived previously for 11 years. DEA spokeswoman Sharon Carter confirmed that federal agents searched the two homes as well as Prelude Press, McWilliams' West Hollywood publishing company.
Harland Braun, McWilliams' attorney, said DEA agents seized a small amount of marijuana that McWilliams uses to ease the symptoms of AIDS and cancer. Agents seized his computer and much of the research material for his upcoming book, according to McWilliams. He said he felt he was being targeted because his planned book is highly critical of the DEA. On December 1, McWilliams had published a lengthy advertisement in Variety criticizing Hollywood's creative community for not speaking out against DEA's attack on medical marijuana.
Peter McWilliams - (213) 650-8488, Web: www.mcwilliams.com.