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Autumn 2005
Journal of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group

Steve McWilliams Says Goodbye

"I know why the United States government hates me--I am their enemy. But why do they hate you?" --Sitting Bull

San Diego activist Steve McWilliams intentially overdosed on pain pills July 11, 2005. A former cowboy from Colorado, Steve wrote in a farewell note that he had expected protection as a medical cannabis user under California law.

He was arrested by the DEA in October 2002 for cultivating a small side-yard garden for a half dozen patrons of the “Shelter From the Storm” Coffeehouse, which he ran with partner Barbara McKenzie. He pled guilty to cultivation of 25 plants and was sentenced to six months, pending appeal. He was released on bail —but denied the right to medicate with marijuana.

Barbara wrote to their friends:
“ Over the past year, both of our health conditions declined significantly. Steve’s headaches not only became a daily occurrence, but increased in severity, dominated by hours of sleep due to the pharmaceutical medications that only minimized the pain, very rarely was he free of a headache. The nausea & vomiting became the norm, yet Steve pushed on.

“ His doctor worked hard to help, fighting for the right to use Marinol for pain, despite its high cost. After the loss of our Marinol for two months in early 2004, she worked with the chief pharmacist to educate him about cannabis and Marinol and the Marinol was restarted. Steve’s latest Marinol bill was close to $16,000

“ By early spring the pain/functioning level of our pre-cannabis days returned. Steve spent much of his time asleep or lying on his side watching TV. Walking the dogs and working in our flower garden were his only activities. He continued to go to City Council. His last visit was on June 28, 2005, to ask the City Council to help implement the collective aspect of the guidelines and help secure a property for such. I will continue to push on that front.”

The denial of cannabis —and in some cases Marinol— to individuals caught up in the criminal justice system is punitive and inhumane.

O'Shaughnessy's is the journal of the CCRMG/SCC. Our primary goals are the same as the stated goals of any reputable scientific publication: to bring out findings that are accurate, duplicable, and useful to the community at large. But in order to do this, we have to pursue parallel goals such as removing the impediments to clinical research created by Prohibition, and educating our colleagues, co-workers and patients as we educate ourselves about the medical uses of cannabis.
The Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC) was formed in the Autumn of 2004 by the member physicians of CCRMG to aid in the promulgation of voluntary standards for clinicians engaged in the recommendation and approval of cannabis under California law (HSC §11362.5).

As the collaborative effort continues to move closer to issueing guidelines, this site serves as a public venue for airing and discussing these guidelines.

Visit the SCC Site for more information.