The closing speaker for the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo held in Fort Worth last weekend was former talk show host and current financial services pitchman Montel Williams.
I had been eagerly awaiting Montel’s appearance. At previous events, he’s never been too fond of marijuana legalization. I’ve heard him step up to defend medical marijuana before, but only to then condemn marijuana legalization as something he does not support.
“I’m going to say some things here today that are going to make some of you very angry,” Montel warned us as he prowled the seminar floor with a wireless handheld microphone. He looked very much in his element, off the elevated stage and roaming the aisles among the hundreds in the audience, as if it were a taped episode of his talk show.
Yet as Montel continued telling his personal tale of triumph over adversity—from the mean streets of what he called “the ghetto” through his time in the Marine Corps—he enlightened rather than offended us. He spoke highly of his experience with cannabis as the only medicine that relieves the pain he suffers from multiple sclerosis.
“If you want to legalize recreational marijuana,” he explained, “knock yourself out.”
Montel still has some reservations about legalization for non-medical purposes, but seemed to accept that it was going to happen nationwide eventually and was safer than the current prohibition. His comments on legalization at this event were far more accepting than I’d heard him issue previously.
Montel’s focus, though, was clearly on the medical use of marijuana.
“Frankly,” he offered, “some of what you people are selling as ‘medicine’ is trash that will do nothing but make me have a seizure.”
He questioned the legitimacy of home medical grows by comparing them to someone manufacturing their own aspirin.
Safety and purity of medical marijuana was a common theme that Montel would return to often. He marveled at how the citizens of Texas have no problem with people “running around openly carrying guns,” but they’re somehow afraid of a doctor recommending a non-toxic herb for medicine.
In the end, Montel took questions from the audience. Many in the audience asked how they were ever going to move forward on marijuana reform in Texas, and Montel kept pointing the finger back at the questioner, explaining how this will only get accomplished when individual Texans speak up and let their elected officials know how they feel about the issue.
(Photo Courtesy of GoodGreen.co)
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