Wednesday, June 13, 2007

MS Sufferer Montel Williams Makes the Case for Medical Pot

From AlterNet:

The new study, conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams, looked at neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS patients. About one-third of people with HIV eventually suffer this kind of pain, and there are no FDA-approved treatments. For some, it gets so bad that they can't walk. This was what is known as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the "gold standard" of medical research. And marijuana worked.

The very first marijuana cigarette reduced the pain by an average of 72 percent, without serious side effects. What makes this even more impressive is that U.S. researchers studying marijuana are required to use marijuana supplied by the federal government -- marijuana that is famous for being weak and of poor quality. So there is every reason to believe that studies such as this one underestimate the potential relief that high-quality marijuana could provide.

Medical marijuana has allowed me to live a productive, fruitful life despite having multiple sclerosis. Many thousands of others all over this country -- less well-known than me but whose stories are just as real -- have experienced the same thing.

The U.S. government knows marijuana works as a medicine. Our government actually provides medical marijuana each month to five patients in a program that started about 25 years ago but was closed to new patients in 1992. One of the patients in that program, Florida stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, was a guest on my show two years ago.

Click here for the rest.

Of course, medical marijuana's detractors dismiss it all as an attempt by hippies to get high legally, and there's definitely some truth to that. Nonetheless, it's not so easy to dismiss the science. Pot heals. That's a fact, and it doesn't matter that stoners have pushed the idea for their own reasons. I know at least one man living with AIDS who claims that smoking pot brought him back from the brink of death, and I've read countless similar accounts from others. For that matter, it's not even the recreational crowd that's out in front of this as far as activism goes these days. The serious medical activists are in charge now, and if individual states keep legalizing medical marijuana, it's only a matter of time before the feds have to follow suit.

Really, it ought to be legal for the stoners, too. What does it matter if people get high?