Montel Williams Is Standing Up For Pot

Former TV personality Montel Williams says he uses cannabis nearly every day for 17 years even though he hasn’t smoked it in over a decade. From Business Insider:

“I have dexterity problems. I can’t roll a joint to save my life,” Williams told Business Insider. He prefers vaporizing more concentrated forms of the drug.

Williams, who is also a retired Navy officer, has multiple sclerosis, a disease that causes his immune system to attack the insulation around his nerves. It produces intense, burning sensations from his head to his toes.

Every morning, Williams takes a fistful of pills to ease the pain. He supplements this cocktail with cannabis, which he started using after his diagnosis in 1999. The drug has been shown to improve symptoms in patients suffering from MS, according to a summary from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

In April, Williams became a “ganjapreneur,” launching a line of cannabis products. They are sold in over 30 dispensaries in California.

After his diagnosis, Williams jumped in front of a taxi in New York City in an attempt to kill himself. Around the same time, he started using cannabis — specifically kief, a fine powder made from the plant’s dried resin glands — to help manage his pain and mood. Depression is one of the most common symptoms of MS, according to the NMSS.

Today, cannabis “helps me to function,” Williams said.

He lives in New York, which is home to one of the country’s more restrictive medical marijuana programs. But because he operates a business in California, Williams says he is qualified to buy and consume medical marijuana there. He sources his kief from a “compassionate caregiver” — a person authorized by the state to grow the plant for medical users.

Williams hopes to expand his “gangapreneur” empire to every state where medical marijuana is legal, and he’s traveling the country this spring to give educational talks on cannabis.

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