When it was reported that Montel Williams was cited for having pot paraphernalia at a Wisconsin airport, no one was surprised. The world knows that Williams has Multiple Sclerosis, and while the story may seem sensational, MS is a perfectly good reason to be in possession of Marijuana.
Medicinal Marijuana is used to alleviate symptoms from serious illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, MS, glaucoma, and epilepsy. It is also use to relieve a sufferer from pain and nausea. While it does not have FDA-approval as an approved prescription drug, it has helped many people with chronic pain and with chronic diseases. Fifteen U.S. States hate laws that allow medicinal marijuana. Thirteen of these states require proof of residency before dispensing the otherwise illegal drug.
There are many pros for allowing medicinal marijuana. Marijuana is less toxic than many of the prescription drugs used for the same ailments. The American College of Physicians has urged the review and reclassification of marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance. Studies have shown that marijuana (smoked and in pill form) helped improve immune function in AIDS patients when compared to a placebo. It is less addictive than cigarettes, alcohol, and hard drugs.
Likewise states have their reasons to not allow medicinal marijuana. There are, of course, cons that support their arguments. Marijuana has side effects including increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure. It interferes with memory, perception, and judgment. With heavy use (3-4 cigarettes a day), it can cause acute bronchitis and may weaken the immune system. It is a gateway drug which often leads to use of harder drugs.
Still, for terminally ill patients who are not using marijuana harder drugs and recreational use are not really an issue. If the point is to manage a great deal of pain or make the final stages of a person’s illness more manageable, one has to wonder why all states don’t allow it within certain restrictions.
This is why the general public isn’t alarmed by Montel Williams use of marijuana, and many think that he shouldn’t get as as much as a slap on the wrist, considering the amount of pain that is associated with MS. Meanwhile, Montel Williams has been very active in attempting to get laws enacted in other states such as Illinois and New York.