Montel Williams At Capitol For Medical Marijuana
May 09, 2005
Today, standing side by side with Montel Williams were both republicans and democrats. And right now, sponsors of medical marijuana legislation say they're confident it can pass.
Montel Williams says the biggest hurdle to legalizing marijuana for medical use is people seeing it as an illegal drug and not for what it would actually be, a medication.
“If we were sitting here talking about a substance that I call MD-644, nobody would even question it,” says Williams. “You don't question where perquisites come from.”
Williams goes on to say, “You wouldn't question where MD-644 came from. But the fact that I said marijuana, everybody goes crazy.”
Many standing with Williams today say they thought this in the past. But after years of evidence of marijuana's powerful pain relieving effects, they now support it. And they say with strict controls like those already in place for drugs like morphine, it shouldn’t be abused.
“We know from experience that these drugs which have medical benefit but which also can be highly addicting can be properly managed, properly prepared, properly produced, properly meet the needs of patients,” says John Eadie of the New York State Health Department.
Also announcing today they're on board with the idea was the New York State Nurses Association, the Association of Medical Schools in New York, and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
Bruno says though there are some legal hurdles given ongoing questions of whether federal law allows or doesn't allow medical marijuana.
“Some of this is still going through the supreme court,” says Bruno. “But and that's what's being looked at are the federal laws and how do you live within those and at the same time be very specific as to the application to provide the relief that you're trying to relieve.”
Williams says even marijuana doesn't take all the pain away, but without it he says he would barely be able to live a normal life.
“Some days, I can literally walk around and on a scale of one to ten, it's a two. And I almost forget it's there,” says Williams. “But then when I forget it's there, it slaps me upside the head that it makes you remember it's there. So, some days are tough but today's one of the good days.”
Currently, medical marijuana legislation is heading for health committees in both the assembly and senate. Bruno says a bill could even come to a vote in the senate this session.