This Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004, Montel Williams presents an appeal for the legalization of medical marijuana. Check this press release out (I’m quoting extensively because it’s just that good!):
Montel publicly announces that he uses marijuana to ease the debilitating pain of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He is joined on the show by several guests who use medical marijuana to aid their illnesses, and experts who offer pros and cons on the topic of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
On the show, Irvin Rosenfeld, a stockbroker from Lauderhill, FL, tells Montel that he has been receiving medical marijuana from the government for over 20 years as part of a federally funded program. He suffers from a rare condition called Multiple Congenital Cartilaginous Exostosis and says he has been enrolled with 12 others in a compassionate-care program that allows treatment with government-grown marijuana from The University of Mississippi. Though President Bush ended the program in 1992, Rosenfeld still receives medical marijuana on a monthly basis from the government.
You notice that the government doesn’t like to talk about that program much, where they have been providing medical marijuana for decades.
Don Murphy, Maryland’s former Republican State Delegate, says he “voted for higher penalties for large amounts of marijuana and other drugs.” But then, he says, his father died of cancer, and he learned too late of the value of medical marijuana. According to Murphy, “My father died in 1997 of cancer, and I didn’t even know marijuana’s medicinal value for him.” He says he “didn’t try to get it.” But, Murphy continues, “I can tell you one thing, elected or not, I would have (tried to get medical marijuana for his father to ease his pain), and I defy anyone in this audience or anyone else to say they wouldn’t do the same thing.”
How many relatives of politicians have to get cancer for the truth to sink in? Very strong statement from Murphy. But, uh oh, look who’s back! She left the Drug Czar to pursue a two day career as a possible candidate for Senate in Illinois (losing the nod to Maryland’s Alan Keyes), but she hasn’t given up her old career spreading propaganda.
The opposing viewpoint is stated by Dr. Andrea Barthwell, MD, former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, who says to Montel, “The problem with trying to bring medications to the marketplace through a popular vote … is setting modern medicine back to the turn of the century.” Barthwell continues by saying, “We developed a process through which we would evaluate botanicals, biologicals, even a molecule that we found in a lab, and would manipulate that in a way to increase its efficacy, reduce its side effect, and bring it to the people in a way that protected the public health.” She claims that legalizing marijuana at this point in time, compares to “snake oil salesmen handing out medication from the back of a stagecoach.”
Montel passionately rebuts her statement, referring to the government funded medical marijuana program that Rosenfeld openly discusses on the show. Williams exclaims, “Talk to me about stagecoaches. Tell me about the stagecoach from Washington D.C. that delivers this to a pharmacy every single week!”
Busted! Why would the government be supplying these individuals with medical marijuana for decades if it wasn’t safe? The truth is that the government doesn’t even want to investigate medical marijuana and blocks it at every turn.
To which Dr. Barthwell replies, “Well, there are some exceptions, and there are other patients that could get it through exception, but what we know is that … independent scientists who determine medicine in this country … determined that there was potential for medication development for marijuana, but that the research should follow the same scientific principles that we follow for all other medication development.”
Of course. Just need to find a way to make sure it’s profitable to drug companies.
To which Williams responds, “For 20 years in a row there’s been research garnered by the US government. You can research this guy (Irvin Rosenfeld)!”
Busted again. How is it that the government has been supplying medical marijuana to patients for 20 years and has not even considered (or allowed) any research on the efficacy of medical marijuana on these patients that they are supplying?
Other guests on the show include: A mother and grandmother of an eight-year-old boy from Rocklin, CA, who claim his aggressive behavior was initially treated by over 16 psychotropic drugs with no success, until they discovered medical marijuana. And a woman from Oakland, CA, whose body is unable to synthesize traditional medication and can only function with regular intake of medical marijuana.
Also appearing on the show are: Dr. Donald Abrams, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California/San Francisco; Rob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project; and Roger Curtiss, addiction counselor and director of alcohol and drug services of Anaconda/Deer Lodge, an outpatient treatment facility in Montana.
I’m going to want video of this one.