Dozens of people gathered at San Diego City Hall today, to pay tribute to medical marijuana activist Steve McWilliams. The 51-year-old McWilliams had been facing six months in federal prison for illegal cultivation of marijuana. He committed suicide last week. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.
At the service, friends of Steve McWilliams handed out white roses and took turns sharing memories of the departed activist.
McWilliams’ partner Barbara MacKenzie read from his suicide note. In it, McWilliams wrote that he could no longer allow the government to decide what drugs he must take.
MacKenzie says her partner helped convince the city to adopt medical marijuana guidelines.
MacKenzie: I want people to remember that Steve fought always for the right for patients to have medical marijuana to relieve their pain and suffering, which he was going through for years and years and years.
McWilliams smoked marijuana to relieve chronic pain. But after he was convicted of illegal cultivation in 2003, a federal judge wouldn’t allow him to use the drug.