Md. Lawmakers Will Consider Legalizing Medical Marijuana

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.

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