His voice quaking with emotion, TV talk show host Montel Williams offered this self-introduction: “I want you to meet someone who’s not a drug dealer, not a dope addict, just somebody who’s trying to get up every morning and go to work.”
Williams went on to explain how marijuana eases the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis enough to let him function. Registered with programs in California and Canada that permit possession of small amounts of marijuana for medical use, he urged New Jersey to adopt one of its own.
Eleven states have enacted laws permitting the “compassionate use” of marijuana by patients who have a physician’s certification that they need it for medical reasons. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that those laws are trumped by the federal Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits possession of marijuana nationwide.
“I break the law every day and I’ll continue to break the law,” Williams said.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, Williams said he lives with twitching and constant pain.
“I have tried every form of pain medication known to man,” some of which produced debilitating side effects, he said. Finally, he said, a doctor recommended he smoke pot, and “immediately I slept through the night.” He said he eats and smokes marijuana to keep his pain under control.
“By doing that, I can go to work,” he said.