By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland lawmakers will again consider making marijuana legal for medical purposes and this year, a new voice enters the debate.  Political reporter Pat Warren explains Baltimore native and talk show host Montel Williams is entering the fray.

Supporters of a bill to legalize medical marijuana were joined by Baltimore native and talk show host Williams, who has used marijuana to battle his decade-long illness, multiple sclerosis. 

“Talk about getting the sick off the battlefield—some of us can’t even get to the battlefield.  We don’t want to be seen as criminals for opening the door,” Williams said.  “The only thing that has kept me a contributing member of this society for 10 years [is marijuana].”

Williams isn’t alone in his first-hand experience with using a drug still classified as illegal.

“I didn’t want to do something illegal, but I was driven to eat and I was driven to feel better,” said one woman.

Efforts to legalize the drug here have only gone as far as reducing the penalty for getting caught with it.  Supporters hope for greater success this year.

Williams says he’s been arrested twice for carrying a pipe that can be used to smoke marijuana.  Both times, charges have been dismissed.

Comments (13)
  1. MZ says:

    Marijuana has so many positive medicinal purposes. Endless benefits for patients suffering some so many illnesses. I have not heard much talk about it, but the benefit of marijuana over prescription pills and other drugs made in a lab.. I don’t see how it is a schedule one drug – by the federal govt. Falling under schedule one means “The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” This needs to change under federal law and I am glad states nationwide are changing this. Williams said “Opiates don’t do it for me anymore.” People get hooked on them so easy, because they are so easy to become dependent on. You can not become physically addicted to marijuana. It blows my mind. Lets hope is does not get shot down this time. When should we hear more on this?
    Thanks WJZ!

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  2. G says:

    There is no good reason why it should not be legal it is a plant that helps you it’s like eating a orange. It has great health benefits and no side effects unlike prescription drugs.

    1. Anthony Beal says:

      No side effect? Then why every time I get stoned, I get the giggles (every thing seems funnier), and I get the munchies (can’t stay out of the refrigerator) ……lol

    2. linda flower says:

      Do You know what Holistic medicine is ? I am terminally ill…I have so many medical problems ,I can’t count them all lol…just ask my Doctors ,steming from being hit by a drunk driver…I refuse to injest taking drug that are addictive ,like Herion,oxycotin,morphene,just to name a few …Well guess what helps me with my appitite,ny 5 bleeding ulcers,my tummy aches ,my blood pressure,my sleep,oh and the list goes on …You my friend have no idea what pain is ,plus I am a diabatic and the list goes on…and on …thats right you got it I hope .”..Marijuana”….However, as of now its illegal…and very difficult to find …I agree 100% to the legalization of Marijuana.Its natual ,and its opposed to the other alteratives…I am 62 years old …I never drank liquor nor did my parents…I just wished the night that driver that hit me was smoking a joint rather then his wiskey..He probably would have been asleep instead.Now my Time is almost up …The injury to my heart is going to end my life…I wish I had a joint …yep I do…!!! I hope this law will be passed asap so I can have that joint …Did I mention my pain?…hummm yes” it helps that to”…Okay ..You got the jist of this hopefully…Just had to tell you how I feel…Thank You…

  3. Ben says:

    People need to realize that the benefits dramatically outweigh the problems with the plant. I would understand if this was a actual threat to our societies youth, but not one medical clinic has ever reported a single death contributed with the plant. Maybe the dangers of alcohol are something we should be a little more concerned with.

  4. Ronald Tripp says:

    I watched afriends wife wither away and die from MS we were avid smokers of the drug.Upon learning of his wifes illness he stopped smoking marijiuna.I said why?His reply just a recreational drug good for nothing.I argued no, it will not cure anything, but will help with symptoms and mood which promotes healing.I lost, both died prematurely.Who will carry the banner to legalize,this life saving drug?

  5. Cory D. says:

    It helps me with my chronic back pain and arthritis I got while I was serving in the military. The pain prevents me from sleeping, but marijuana gets me through the night without any problems. However, I am now considered a criminal in this state because I use the drug.



  7. Traci says:

    From an objective stand point, the legalization of marijuana could have some downsides to it. For instantce, it gives the people who may, yes, have some disabilities that would appropriate the use of medical usage, to be able to sell it illegally at a higher price because it came from a vender. On the other hand the qualtities it possesses can cure not only physical ailments, but also help with mental illnesses such as depression. In my experiance, I have never been able to take anti-depressants, but the use of marijuana helps me think more rationally about how I’m feeling and why. It also helps cure the problem of being to depressed to eat, which has been going on since I was 13. I didn’t smoke until I was a legal adult, but it still helped cure the dibilitating depression I’ve been plagued with for many years.

  8. FedUpWithItTooGrrrr! says:

    Our government spends $135,000,000 per day on this ridiculous war on drugs. but it only focuses on one herb that is not only harmless but medically and therapeutically invaluable.

    Annual cost to enforce the prohibition:
    35,000,000,000 (billion per yr)

    Annual cost to feed 1,000,000 non violent cannabis users, now converted into wards of the state:
    58,275,000,000 (billion per yr)

    Rough estimate of number of non violent citizens removed from taxpayer status and converted into non taxpaying prisoners:
    1,000,000 non violent citizens and millions of their family members forced into poverty (the cost of which is not included in any of the stats stated here).

    Value of cannabis sales in the USA alone, with currently every dime of this going to the criminal cartels that manage of nations number one cash crop
    36,000,000,000 (billion per yr)

    Either legalize it or criminalize everything else including the legal drugs that are responsible for all of the damage to society. The current situation is offensive to anyone with a higher intelligence than a chimpanzee. It’s damaging our society and bankrupting our country.

    I’m NOT seriously advocating the criminalization of another part of human culture and the trampling of more of our rights. But I only offer the following information for the purpose of showing how irrational the prohibition of cannabis really is.

    Alcohol and legal pharmaceuticals are responsible for 40-60% of all violent crime REPORTED in the world, according to the UN, WHO, CDC and every police force in the country.

    Our government allows Big Pharma to produce 100 times more synthetic heroin (oxycontin) than is legally prescribed! It has no nutritional or therapeutic value and is intended strictly for extreme pain relief. Big Pharmas main consumers of this product appear to be the illicit drug trade.

    The abuse of alcohol and legal pharmaceuticals leads to violence, poverty, soaring divorce rates, massive deaths of innocent lives, broken families, reliance upon social services, etc. Its a plague on society yet perfectly legal.

    Alcohol causes close to 1,000 deaths EVERY DAY due to intoxicated drivers stoned out of their minds. The cost to the public is in the billions.

    Pharmaceutical drugs even when used as recommended cause an equivalent number of deaths. The cost to the publich health system is in the billions.

    Big Pharma takes the profits and spends it on their families. They do not reimburse the tax payers for all of the damage that their products cause.

    Alcohol is one of the leading causes of illness and medical problems. The cost to the public health system and taxpayers is in the billions.

    No one benefits from the war on cannabis except for the 1/2 dozen guys that own pill factories and the politicians that they bought and paid for.

    Cannabis can be used to make bibles, fine paper, linen quality clothing, beverages, ointments, nutritional supplements, saddle blankets, diapers, backpacks, rope, sails for boats, and 20,000 other products.

    Ending the prohibition of cannabis has the power to turn the United States back into a Manufacturing Superpower which is exactly what was needed to pull us out of the first great depression and exactly what we need to pull us out of this one.
    Call your representatives and demand that they end this blatant abuse of powers entrusted to them by the citizens of the United States of America. The time for change is now. We’ve been beaten, abused and imprisoned into poverty. The politicians need to understand that they work for us and not for the benefit of Big Pharma and other corporate elites.

    1. FedUpWithItTooGrrrr! says:

      White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske argues “legalizing Cannabis would not be the cure-all proponents make it out to be because the black market would adapt to offer tax-free marijuana”.

      But the White House seems to be missing the point. Ending the marijuana prohibition is more about the return of personal freedom & justice that was forceably removed from our citizens by means of fraud, intimidation and extreme violence.

      Ending the prohibition is about creating an environment of peace and security for our citizens. Sending squads of armed swat teams complete with military grade weapons into the homes of peaceful citizens in search of a bag of marijuana is not only cruel but it is a threat to civilized society.

      The corporate owned media vary rarely report on SWAT raids gone wrong. But it happens every day. There are numerous examples on Youtube and other privately owned media websites that host thousands of videos of SWAT teams breaking into the wrong house and killing the occupants, killing sleeping children, firing on puppies running for their lives, killing family members, etc. If this was happening in any other country our government would be making plans to occupy it and “save” the people from their evil oppressors.

      We live in a Federally controlled police state that has been infiltrated by a ruling class of wealthy international figures who swear no allegiance to any particular flag. They are motivated and guided strictly by greed and for the desire to monopolize and dominate.

      True patriots would not violently attack, intimidate and imprison their own countrymen for the sake of the almighty dollar.

      The majority of Americans are strongly opposed to these policies and want them ended now. The majority of Americans citizens do not condone the imprisonment and killing of non violent citizens. The current laws are unjust. They were not created by, nor designed for the safety and security of Americas citizens.

      Ending the prohibition would result in a boon of innovation and opportunities that would inject billions of dollars amongst the general population and at ground level. The resulting “trickle up” effect is a proven yet frequently overlooked method that will stimulate our economy in ways not seen since the end of the first Great Depression and the beginning of WWII. Literally tens of thousands of products can be made with Cannabis including bibles, fine paper, linen quality cloth, beverages, ointments, fuel, nutritional supplements, and many more items too numerous to mention.

      Collecting a sales tax is only one of the benefits. We can iron out the wrinkles as we move along just as we do with everything else.

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