Montel Williams Urges Congress to Pass Medical Marijuana Legislation

May 04, 2005

Associated Press, ABC News

Talk show host Montel Williams joined a group of medical marijuana advocates Wednesday in imploring Congress to allow him and other sick people to use the drug without fear of prosecution.

'This is really so simple it's ignorant,' said Williams, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999. He said legal drugs do not help the pain.

'I'm hurting right now. I'm hurting. Why? Because I knew I had to come to Washington, D.C., and I can't carry anything because I know I'd get busted,' he said.

Williams spoke at a Capitol Hill news conference where a bipartisan group of lawmakers said decisions about medical marijuana should be left to the states.

Ten states have laws that allow residents to use marijuana for medical purposes. The Supreme Court has said that does not protect distributors from federal anti-drug charges.

The court is considering a case about whether federal drug agents can go after patients in the states where the drug is allowed for medical purposes Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Maine, Montana, Hawaii and Vermont.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he was reintroducing a bill that would allow states to set their own laws on medical marijuana.

'The notion that a state-sanctioned practice of medicine ought to be criminalized really makes no sense,' Frank said.

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