Montel Williams Pushes Pot -- for Medical Relief

Montel Williams Pushes Pot -- for Medical Relief
Posted by CN Staff on May 04, 2004 at 15:22:08 PT
By Alicia Chang, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press 
Albany, N.Y. -- Daytime television talk show host Montel Williams threw his support Tuesday behind legalizing medical marijuana in New York, saying pot helps him cope with multiple sclerosis.Williams, who was diagnosed with the debilitating neurological disease in 1999, said he uses marijuana every night before bed to relieve the pain in his legs and feet.
"I'm breaking the law every day, and I will continue to break the law," said a defiant Williams, flanked by state lawmakers and health officials, who are lobbying to make pot legal for medicinal purposes.The Emmy award-winning host of the nationally syndicated "Montel Williams Show," recalled how prescription painkillers and even morphine failed to control his tremors and spasms. Williams said it was not until he started using marijuana that he was able to feel like a "contributing member of society."Nine states _ Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state _ currently allow medical marijuana use.A proposed law in New York to prescribe pot to terminally ill patients to treat pain advanced in the Assembly Health Committee earlier this year, but the measure has yet to reach the floor of the state Legislature for a vote.Republican Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said he recognizes the "merits" of medical marijuana and promised to take a close look at the issue.Opponents of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes fear rogue doctors or patients may abuse or get addicted to the drug and point to other legal medications that are routinely prescribed to alleviate pain.But Williams dismissed the claims, saying, "I'm not saying to make it legal at 7-Eleven."Williams, a former naval officer who ventured into television after a stint as a motivational speaker, said he can legally obtain marijuana in California, where he owns some property, to treat his pain. But he argued that as a New York state taxpayer, he should receive the same rights here.During an hour-long news conference Tuesday to drum up support for the proposed law, Williams _ dressed in a black pinstripe suit and a tieless purple shirt _ often shifted his weight around and wiped tears with a brush of his hand. Later, he explained that all the wiggling was because "I'm in pain now."Besides his job as a TV personality, Williams also started a multiple sclerosis research fund in his name, providing financial support to organizations seeking a cure for MS.About 400,000 Americans suffer from multiple sclerosis. Symptoms include unusual fatigue, loss of balance, slurred speech and difficulty walking. In extreme cases, MS can lead to partial or complete paralysis. There is no cure, but medication is prescribed to relieve symptoms.Complete Title: Montel Williams Host Pushes Pot -- for Medical ReliefOn the Net:Montel Williams Show: Source: Associated Press Author: Alicia Chang, Associated Press WriterPublished: May 4, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Sites:Medical Marijuana Information Links Talker Says Pot is Healing Montel Williams on Medical Marijuana Montel Williams' Battle With M.S.
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Comment #2 posted by Marc Paquette on May 04, 2004 at 15:40:40 PT
Montel Williams strikes again! :o)
At last Montel ! I'm so proud of the fact that he declared how much marijuana prohibition hurts the sick and dying. He is very honest for risking his celebrity status as a "STAR"..but it had to be done, and I'm sure it made him feel much better and liberated! Bravo Montel!! We're very proud of you!Marc
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 04, 2004 at 15:24:47 PT
Thank You Montel!
I appreciate what Montel is doing for medical marijuana and those who are in pain.
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