Montel Williams joined the fight for medical marijuana in Florida on Monday in a two-prong attack. As emails were being sent to current supporters, The Sun Sentinel published an opinion editorial he wrote expressing his support for Amendment 2, the ballot initiative put to voters for the November 4 elections.
Marijuana isn’t a new topic for Williams, a former United States Marine turned talk show host. Doctors diagnosed him with multiple sclerosis in 1999. The condition causes him neuropathic pain 24 hours a day and he has spoken out in the past about how only marijuana truly helps him. He explained to Florida voters that only someone suffering from a debilitating disease can really know what he knows — marijuana provides more relief than any other drug on the market.
“In early attempts to manage the painful symptoms of my disease, doctors prescribed me every powerful painkiller you can imagine — Percocet, Oxycontin and Vicodin to name a few. My experience with these pharmaceutical interventions was nasty and ineffective at best, as they provided little to no symptom relief. I was just left with the miserable side effects you only read about on the side of the label.” – The Sun Sentinel
The email was sent out by United for Care, the group behind the Yes On 2 campaign. In it, Williams tells supporters that the fight is still raging. He writes of the need to establish patients’ rights to the medicine that will help them.
“The benefits of medical marijuana — shared by so many patients nationwide and supported by physicians from Dr. Gupta to Dr. Oz to multiple medical organizations nationwide — are well established. What isn’t established, yet, is the right of Florida’s seriously sick and injured patients to access it with the recommendation of their doctor.” — United For Care
Williams argues eloquently for the needs of people like himself. Medical marijuana patients who have experienced similar relief will recognize the frustration of having their medicine classified as illegal. While the piece was written in support of the state law, Williams pointed out the hypocrisy of the federal laws as well. He said that the government knows marijuana is medically beneficial, offering as proof a patent Health and Human Services holds for “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants.”
“Patients deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and compassion,” Williams concludes in his op-ed. “Not left as collateral damage on the political battlefield.”
The full op-ed is definitely worth a read. United for Care has republished it in full on their website.