The Medical Marijuana Magazine


Peter McWilliams, in Pro Per

Los Angeles, California 90046

213-650-8488 (phone)

213-650-0769 (fax)

Honorable Tina Green

34th District Court

State of Michigan

Romulus, Michigan

The People of the State of Michigan

Luke Skywalker, Assistant Prosecutor


Peter McWilliams, defendant,

In Pro Per

Case No. 96-6151 SM



AUGUST 15, 1997


Defendant respectfully asks the Court to compel the prosecutor's written response to this question within seven days:

Will you prosecute to a jury verdict Peter McWilliams in Case No. 96-6151 SM?

Defendant further moves this Court to continue trial date until at least 60 days after the prosecutor's written response to that question, should the prosecutor respond in the affirmative.


On July 14, 1997, I asked this Court to inquire of the prosecutor's office whether or not it intends to move ahead with this trial to a final jury verdict. I pointed out in that motion that "I will embark on the costly and time-consuming matter of preparing for a trial…. This is money and time that, in my present condition, is very precious to me."

I heard no response from the prosecutor's office directly, but later read statements made to the Associated Press by the prosecutor's office and distributed nationally that said the prosecutor's office planned to move ahead with the trial.

On July 23, 1997, I sent a facsimile to Mr. Skywalker (with a copy to this Court) saying, in part:

I would appreciate a letter from your office stating that you will move ahead with the trial and not back out at the last minute. As I stated in my motion, with my illness time and money are precious to me and I do not want to waste that time and money preparing a defense if the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is going to drop it "on the courthouse steps" or at some point prior to a jury's verdict.

On August 6, 1997, I sent via facsimile a motion to this Court and to Prosecutor Skywalker asking for a third time that the prosecutor make a simple statement in writing.


It has been thirty-one days since my first request of the prosecutor. To date, I have received no response--or any other direct communication--from Mr. Skywalker or anyone else at the prosecutor's office.

My concern, again, is that when cool and sober heads at the prosecutor's office really have a look at it, they will drop the prosecution of this case. As stated by the New England Journal of Medicine just last week (August 7, 1997):

Virtually no one thinks it is reasonable to initiate criminal prosecution of patients with cancer or AIDS who use marijuana on the advice of their physicians to help them through conventional medical treatment for their disease.

This is a precise description of what the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is doing by prosecuting me. With this as the prevailing thinking among "reasonable" people--reasonable as defined by one of the world's most prestigious medical journals --I fully expect the prosecutor's office to eventually back down from a stand that will be perceived by the people of Michigan and the United States as the cruel and malicious act it is. I maintain the prosecutor's office will not actually bring the case to trial, especially if this Court grants my August 6, 1997 motion allowing Court TV and other media to cover the trial.

The prosecutor's office (and by "prosecutor's office I'm speaking of the invisible hands that give Luke Skywalker his walking papers) will not be able to tolerate the spectacle of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office wasting precious time and energy on putting a 48-year-old writer with AIDS and cancer in jail while there are rapes, murders, and robberies that go unpunished because of the acknowledged limited resources of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

Just as the prosecutor's office as been less-than-courageous about putting its intent in writing, so they will back down at the last moment should it find its fiscal priorities and common sense the laughing stock of the nation (although it will probably get an encouraging phone call from Drug Czar McCaffrey). Backing out at any point closer than 60 days to the trial would be wasting this Court's time as well as the time of the many prominent expert witnesses I plan to call. Most of these are physicians and other professional people who must plan ahead and will be sacrificing other opportunities by committing to be at my trial. Before I ask them to commit to a specific date, I think it only fair to them that I make this reasonable request from the prosecutor's office, a request that for one month has gone unmet and hampered my ability to prepare my defense.

I maintain the prosecutor will back out. If this were not true, wouldn't the prosecutor have answered my question in writing by now? If I were a murderer, for example, and asked for a similar letter, would I not have instantly received one?

I would speculate that this issue is still under discussion and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office (and probably the Attorney General and even the governor) are postponing a decision until the last moment. Perhaps they wish to see how the prevailing winds will blow.

They are certainly not blowing in the direction of putting people with terminal illnesses into prison for smoking medical marijuana. The National Institutes of Health's just-released report on medical marijuana quoted Dr. William Beaver, Professor of Pharmacology and Anesthesia, Georgetown University School of Medicine, who chaired the NIH "Experts Group" to explore medical marijuana:

For at least some potential indications, marijuana looks promising enough to recommend that there be new controlled studies done."

The New England Journal of Medicine--which had earlier editorialized that prosecuting medical marijuana patients was "misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane"--published an article in the August 7, 1997 issue of the Journal. It concluded:


Doctors are not the enemy in the "war" on drugs; ignorance and hypocrisy are. Research should go on, and while it does, marijuana should be available to all patients who need it to help them undergo treatment for life-threatening illnesses. There is certainly sufficient evidence to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug. Unlike quack remedies such as laetrile, marijuana is not claimed to be a treatment in itself; instead, it is used to help patients withstand the effect of accepted treatment that can lead to a cure or amelioration of their condition. As long as a therapy is safe and has not been proved ineffective, seriously ill patients (and their physicians) should have access to whatever they need to fight for their lives.


(Might I add that patients are not the enemy in the "war" on drugs, either.)?

A recent poll conducted by ABC News--among the toughest anti-drug networks as witnessed by the "March on Drugs" this past March--showed that 69% of the population believes medical marijuana patients should not be prosecuted for taking their medicine. This brings to mind the question--which the prosecutor's office should have considered long before now--

Is it possible to gain a guilty verdict in a legitimate medical marijuana case?

Reasoned minds, I argue, would consider the compassion of Detroit-area juries who acquitted Dr. Kavorkian three times on charges far more serious than possessing "seven marijuana cigarettes." Reasoned minds would conclude that a unanimous vote by a jury of such compassionate people would be impossible. Reasoned minds would drop this case with a compassionate statement and move on to bringing a murderer or two to justice with the resources they plan to waste on putting my decaying body in jail.

When this decision reaches the rarefied air of Michigan elected officials who have reasoned minds, they will make a reasoned choice. I would like that choice to be sooner than later, as later will be after extensive trial preparation on my part.

As it is now, the case must have proceeded thus far within the lower, unreasoned, robotic, burrocratic level of the prosecutor's office. It eventually will rise to wise political minds who will be most upset that this wasn't brought to their attention before now. I ask this Court to help me bring it to "their" attention now.



I, therefore, ask this Court to compel the prosecutor's office to make a written response within seven days to the question:

Will you prosecute to full jury verdict Peter McWilliams in Case No. 96-6151 SM?

If the prosecutor answers in the negative, as reasoned minds would dictate, then I ask the case be dismissed.

If the prosecutor answers in the absurd, then I ask the trial be set at least 60 days after that historic date.

I also respectfully request that this Court swiftly rule on my motion of August 6, 1997 requesting permission for Court TV and other media coverage. Perhaps that ruling would help the prosecutor's office in making up its reasoned political mind.


Respectfully submitted this 15th day of August, 1997

Peter McWilliams, in pro per
Los Angeles, California 90046

213-650-8488 (phone)

213-650-0769 (fax)