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ACTION Rally! - to Commemorate the Life and Times of Activist Steve McWilliams'

Tue., July 19th, 6:30pm * Rally in Portland and across the nation.

In light of Steve McWilliams' battle with our federal government, illness, and incarceration, I realized that I had to take action on this warrior's behalf.I amcompelled to pay respect to Steve and to protest our federal government's war on patients. I hope that every other activist, advocate, patient, and caregiver also feel the same way.”

“Please join me in Portland, as well as thousands of others across the country, to pay tribute to our lost friend and fellow activist on the evening of Tuesday, July 19th at the Federal Building in Portland at 6:30 pm. Details to follow.

Anyone who would like to speak, help organize, volunteer, etc., please feel free to email me. “

In unity,

Trista Okel

In Oregon, there are federal courthouses in Portland, Eugene and Medford (occasionally, the court also uses the courtroom upstairs from the post office in Pendleton) These seem to be natural locations for these vigils. So please, stop by - what better way to express your support for medical marijuana patients in Oregon and nationwide.




Steve McWilliams was an incredibly kind, compassionate, intelligent and wise man, as well as a balls to the wall activist.

Steve committed suicide by overdose on Tuesday morning. Steve had been depressed and in terrible pain, and been hospitalized as late as last week. Steve's depression was apparently due to a combination of factors including dreadful thoughts about the possibility of going to jail in light of Raich and his deteriorating health. He was taking powerful pharmaceutical opiates, anti-nausea, anti-migraine, etc. drugs in far higher amounts than when he was when he able to medicate with marijuana. Evidently, these were the substances he used to overdose.

Join us in memoriam of a life-long activist and patient.

What: Vigils to honor Steve McWilliams, patient, caregiver & activist

When: Tuesday evening, July 19, 2005

Where: In cities nationwide

Who: You! We are calling on patients and advocates nationwide to organize these vigils in your hometown. If you are planning on holding one, email or call 510-251-1856 and we will send you visual and text materials to hand out.

Steve was a long-time medical marijuana activist. He was a member of the task force that pushed for San Diego medical marijuana guidelines, and he ran a patient's collective, Shelter from the Storm, that had been officially recognized by the city of San Diego as legal and in compliance with state law.

In September 2002, Steve led a public handout of medical marijuana to patients at San Diego City Hall. After this, the US Attorney warned Steve to destroy his marijuana garden or face prosecution. Later that week, Steve's small garden that served a few seriously ill patients was raided by the DEA. Steve was arrested in October and charged with growing 20 plants. He plead guilty, knowing that he would not be able to present a medical marijuana defense in federal court.

Steve was sentenced to six months and released pending appeal but denied access to marijuana.

Steve passed away on July 12, 2005. He will be sorely missed by all.


We are also asking supporters to write letters to Steve's partner, Barbara MacKenzie. Her address is:

4763 Wilson Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116


Rebecca Saltzman
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access
(510) 251-1856

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