Cannabis News Cannabis TV
  Medical Use of Marijuana Should Be Legalized
Posted by CN Staff on April 03, 2007 at 06:43:58 PT
By Montel Williams 
Source: Post-Dispatch  

medical Illinois -- You probably know me as a talk show host and, perhaps, as someone who for several years has spoken out about my use of medical marijuana for the pain caused by multiple sclerosis. That surprised a few people, but recent research has proved that I was right: right about marijuana's medical benefits and right about how urgent it is for states to change their laws so that sick people aren't treated as criminals. The Illinois General Assembly is considering such a change right now.

If you see me on television [10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 4 in St. Louis], I look healthy. What you don't see is the mind-numbing pain searing through my legs like hot pokers.

My doctors wrote me prescriptions for some of the strongest painkillers available. I took Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin on a regular basis, knowingly risking overdose just trying to make the pain bearable. But these powerful, expensive drugs brought me no relief. I couldn't sleep, I was agitated, my legs kicked involuntarily in bed and the pain was so bad I found myself crying in the middle of the night.

All these heavy-duty narcotics made me nearly incoherent. I couldn't take them when I had to work, because they turned me into a zombie. Worse, these drugs are highly addictive, and one thing I knew was that I didn't want to become a junkie.Advertisement

When someone suggested I try marijuana, I was skeptical. But I also was desperate. To my amazement, it worked after the legal drugs had failed. Three puffs and within minutes the excruciating pain in my legs subsided. I had my first restful sleep in months.

I am not alone. A new study from the University of California, published in February in the highly regarded medical journal Neurology, leaves no doubt about that.

You see, people with MS suffer from a particular type of pain called neuropathic pain: pain caused by damage to the nerves. It's common in MS but also in many other illnesses, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. It's typically a burning or stabbing sensation, and conventional pain drugs don't help much, whatever the specific illness.

The new study, conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams, looked at neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS patients. About one-third of people with HIV eventually suffer this kind of pain, and there are no FDA-approved treatments. For some it gets so bad that they can't walk.

This was what is known as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the "gold standard" of medical research. And marijuana worked. The very first marijuana cigarette reduced the pain by an average of 72 percent, without serious side effects.

What makes this even more impressive is that U.S. researchers studying marijuana are required to use marijuana supplied by the federal government, marijuana that is famous for its poor quality and weakness. So there is every reason to believe that studies such as this one underestimate the potential relief that high-quality marijuana could provide.

In my case, medical marijuana has allowed me to live a productive, fruitful life despite having multiple sclerosis. Many thousands of others all over this country — less well-known than me but whose stories are just as real — have experienced the same thing.

Here's what's shocking: The U.S. government knows marijuana works as a medicine. Our government actually provides medical marijuana each month to five patients in a program that started about 25 years ago but was closed to new patients in 1992. One of the patients in that program, Florida stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, was a guest on my show two years ago. If federal officials come to town to tell you there's no evidence marijuana is a safe, effective medicine, know this: They're lying, and they know it.

Still, 39 states subject patients with illnesses like MS, cancer or HIV/AIDS to arrest and jail for using medical marijuana, even if their doctor has recommended it. It's long past time for that to change.

Illinois state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has introduced a bill — SB 650 — to protect patients like me from arrest and jail for using medical marijuana when it's recommended by a physician. Similar laws are working well in 11 states right now.

The General Assembly should pass the medical marijuana bill without delay. Sick people shouldn't be treated as criminals.

Television talk show host Montel Williams is the author, with Lawrence Grobel, of "Climbing Higher" and other books.

Special to the Post-Dispatch

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Author: Montel Williams
Published: April 3, 2007
Copyright: 2007 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Website: http://www.stltoday.com/
Contact: letters@post-dispatch.com

Related Articles & Web Sites:

Montel Williams Show
http://www.montelshow.com/

Montel Williams MS Foundation
http://www.montelms.org/

Senate Pending Marijuana Drug Bill
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22735.shtml

Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Committee
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22718.shtml


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Comment #26 posted by FoM on April 05, 2007 at 15:34:13 PT
RevRayGreen
That is great to read. If he gets into our area we will go see him too. He probably will get closer to us then Columbus or Cleveland sometime this year or if he gets the nomination next year before elections. They seem to hit smaller towns around here closer to an election.

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Comment #25 posted by RevrayGreen on April 05, 2007 at 15:24:11 PT
FoM
He was in Fort Dodge today, about 40 miles away but I had to work until 5. He will be showing up here in DSM again, I have my digital recorder ready.

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Comment #24 posted by FoM on April 05, 2007 at 07:12:51 PT
RevRayGreen
Are people going to see Senator Obama today or tomorrow in Iowa?

http://www.barackobama.com/

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #23 posted by RevRayGreen on April 05, 2007 at 03:57:14 PT
Like a......
Bridge over troubled water.........I will ease your mind..

RRG

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Comment #22 posted by afterburner on April 04, 2007 at 22:06:58 PT
Erowid.org bridges gap - earning global respect
CN ON: Edu: Getting A High Education http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n434/a08.html (Wed, 04 Apr 2007) Excalibur

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Comment #21 posted by FoM on April 04, 2007 at 19:11:18 PT
This Came To Mind After Todays News
I am very happy with what I see happening in the news and it made me think of this song.

Byrds - "Turn Turn Turn"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNopQq5lWqQ

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #20 posted by FoM on April 04, 2007 at 18:27:39 PT
RevRayGreen
That's the kind of news I love to read about these days. I am so excited about what is happening now. Obama really did blow the doors off today and Nancy Pelosi is doing good things in the middle east. They released the hostages and Tony Blair seemed totally humbled and grateful. What a great day today was for news.

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Comment #19 posted by RevRayGreen on April 04, 2007 at 18:15:19 PT
Just In.........
One of my closest friends was just at the John Edwards rally here in Des Moines at a local High School.

He posed the question during a handshake meet and greet afterward, (with crowd around) "With NM Gov. Richardson signing a medical marijuana bill, what is your position regarding medical marijuana"

Edwards replied that "he is becoming more for it than against it " (not the exact words, but supportive)

It looks as if Richardson is forcing all candidates hand.

-sidebar- my cousin who is an activist for prison reform for drug offenders just happened to be there as a witness.........next time we'll have a recorder when Obama shows up for the question.

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Comment #18 posted by whig on April 04, 2007 at 17:58:01 PT
FoM
That's fine with me.

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Comment #17 posted by FoM on April 04, 2007 at 16:52:02 PT
whig
How about if other people comment and say if Richard bothers them too and then I don't have to decide?

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Comment #16 posted by whig on April 04, 2007 at 16:44:58 PT
FoM
You have been fair. Richard Zuckerman is a bigot and a hateful person who has threatened to kill judges in the past.

I ask you to remove him from this place, as he has no constitutional right to participate here.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #15 posted by FoM on April 04, 2007 at 16:41:39 PT
whig
I don't have a certain standard but I try really hard to be fair.

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Comment #14 posted by whig on April 04, 2007 at 16:39:40 PT
FoM
Do you have standards of removing hateful trolls?

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Comment #13 posted by Richard Zuckerman on April 04, 2007 at 14:50:58 PT:

Hey, Whig, Comment # 9?
My presence being "poison" reminds me of the TROJAN dectected a moment ago from my computer's anti-virus software.+

Bigoted, hateful, speech is constitutionally protected. See, e.g., State v. Mortimer, 135 N.J. 517, 531 (1994).

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Comment #12 posted by The GCW on April 03, 2007 at 20:47:11 PT
mayan,
Just outside of Chicago is a little place called Illinois.

This story, (I'm guessing) is not from the ChiTown area but rather in the state capital: Springfield, Ill area (with the reference of: The Illinois General Assembly) or in the East St. Louis area on the other side of the river from St. Louis. The windy city doesn't get St. Louis channel 4.

Chicago should get this story, but then so should Bush...

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by FoM on April 03, 2007 at 20:08:23 PT
Whig
That was really good. Thanks.

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Comment #10 posted by Hope on April 03, 2007 at 19:18:54 PT
I'm thankful
that the guy I tended to think of as "Bootcamp" Montel, has come around to the truth of the matter. I'm sorry that it took a horrible illness to get him to see the truth.

It's sad to see him amazed that not everyone believes him. We...so many of us have been saying that it was amazing help to some people for years...yet we are ignored and insulted...over and over.

Sucks doesn't it, Montel? It really is bad.

It must be how the round earth people felt having to deal with the flat earth people.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by whig on April 03, 2007 at 18:03:14 PT
p'raps this is it?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gkKAa2jIjk

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Comment #8 posted by whig on April 03, 2007 at 16:58:19 PT
Love to Montel and blessings
All together now and pull.

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Comment #7 posted by mayan on April 03, 2007 at 16:53:18 PT
Where's Illinois' Press?
Why is this article in a Missouri paper? Granted, a lot of folks in downstate Illinois read the Post-Dispatch but the money and power is in Chicago. The democrate have absolute power in Illinois but where in the hell are they? They are as crooked and corrupted as the republicans!

Montel is living proof that cannabis has medicinal value.

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Comment #6 posted by whig on April 03, 2007 at 16:52:01 PT
Richard Zuckerman
At the risk of offending our hosts, I will say that you poison this place with your presence. I will say nothing further to you now.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by RevRayGreen on April 03, 2007 at 15:05:47 PT
Once again Thank You Montel
I know I'm not alone in the fight, thanks for recognizing those who don't have as loud of a voice........please come to Iowa and do a show with George and Barbara.

RRG

www.nicerIA.blogspot.com www.myspace.com/niceria

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by Richard Zuckerman on April 03, 2007 at 12:33:35 PT:

MONTEL'S TESTIMONY TO N.J. STATE HEALTH COMMITTEE
On June 8, 2006, Montel Williams and Dr. John P. Morgan, M.D., CUNY, testified at the Statehouse, Trenton, N.J., in support of the N.J. State Senate Health Committee Bill for Medical "Marijuana". Unfortunately, Senator Joseph Vitale is the Health Committee Chairman. The newspapers quoted Chairman Vitale, whose office is in the notoriously corrupt Woodbridge, New Jersey, the next day as saying the pot issue is "too conversial". As far as I known of, the N.J. legislature has visited the issue since then.

I found out about a week ago that the new Chairman of the Congressional Health Committee is Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., who has a legislative office in New Brunswick, N.J., right accross the street from Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company. Late last summer, Congressman Pallone told me in his office that he has changed his mind and now supports medical "Marijuana". I called his office the other day on their toll free number, (866) 340-9281, to support medical "Marijuana", REMOVE Fluoride from drinking water [referred to water Fluoridation as "liquid castration"], support research on the bedbug infestation problem, and OPPOSE the massive influx of Mexican "undocumented workers" and the planned "North American Union" [which the Council On Foreign Relations wants to impose, eliminate our international borders, by the year 2010, ONLY 3 YEARS AWAY, PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]!!!

A trial date is scheduled for April 16, 2007, in regards to my lawsuit against the New Jersey State Police for having barred me from entering the Statehouse on the day Montel Williams & Dr. Morgan testified, Richard Paul Zuckerman, Plaintiff, vs. State of New Jersey, New Jersey State Police, Unknown Statehouse Guards, Defendants, docket number MER-L-1948-06. Within the past couple of weeks, the Deputy Attorney General filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the case before trial, alleging they made a "mistake" interpreting their "restricted access list", that they were only negligent, that negligence never constitutes a constitutional violation, that I was only denied entrance into the Statehouse on that one occasion, and that a citizen does not have a constitutional right to enter the Statehouse. This morning, I personally drove down to Trenton, N.J., and served the Attorney General's Office and motion/trial judge Paul Innes, J.S.C., Mercer County. My opposition papers, consisting of a letter, an affidavit, and an appendix, asserts a citizen DOES have a State Constitutional Right of access to a public building, that they denied my State Constitutional Right even if it was only one time, that the motion for summary judgment should be denied because there was a genuine dispute of material facts as to whether I asked to speak to a Supervisor and whether one of the guards simultaneously made a telephone call to a supervisor to confirm their misinterpretation of the "restricted access list". I made sure to comment in the opposition brief that pro se litigants should not be treated like the cave men in the Geico auto insurance commercials!!!! April 16, 2007, in the courtroom of Hon. Paul Innes, J.S.C., Mercer County Courthouse, Trenton, New Jersey!!

Richard Paul Zuckerman, Box 159, Metuchen, N.J., 08840-0159, (land line telephone number)(732) 220-1960, (cell phone) (848) 250-8879, richardzuckerman2002@yahoo.com, registered voter in New Jersey as a Libertarian [They initially gave me a voter card with my home address, voting place address, listing me as a DEMOCRAT. I brought it back to the Middlesex County Board of Elections and had them correct the PROBLEM. They gave me a voter card listing me as Libertarian!!!!].

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by ekim on April 03, 2007 at 08:27:14 PT
willie nelson was on the cobert report last nite
it was funny as it was mainly about how both guys have a ice cream named after them. jokes about willies bus, whats in his ice cream were all good fun.



[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by dongenero on April 03, 2007 at 08:11:32 PT
great article Montel, thanks!
Montel has written a great piece here.

I was particularly pleased that he included reference to the federal medical marijuana program. The feds and the public should be reminded with this every time the John Walters of the world open their mouths.

"Here's what's shocking: The U.S. government knows marijuana works as a medicine. Our government actually provides medical marijuana each month to five patients in a program that started about 25 years ago but was closed to new patients in 1992. One of the patients in that program, Florida stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, was a guest on my show two years ago. If federal officials come to town to tell you there's no evidence marijuana is a safe, effective medicine, know this: They're lying, and they know it."



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by Dr Ganj on April 03, 2007 at 07:41:09 PT
Montel
A true champion for the cause. Excellent article.

Now that New Mexico has been included in states with legal medical marijuana, it seems solid progress is being made. Let's hope more states, like Illinois, see the truth too, and realize this plant does offer relief where prescription medications fail.

[ Post Comment ]


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