Newsbrief: Montel Williams Show Brings Medical Marijuana Issue to the Masses 9/24/04

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The medicinal use of marijuana was the sole topic on Tuesday's edition of the Montel Williams TV talk show. Williams, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, has become an increasingly vocal proponent of medical marijuana, and Tuesday's program was no exception.

The show opened with an extended sympathetic piece about California medical marijuana patient Angel McLary Raich, then turned to Debbie Jeffries, author of "Jeffrey's Journey: A Determined Mother's Battle for Medical Marijuana for Her Son," a story of a child pumped full of stimulants, tranquilizers, and antidepressants who was helped tremendously by using medical marijuana. Audience members moaned in empathy as Jeffries described how the DEA raid on their supplier, the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, cost them access to his medicine and led to him being institutionalized.

Other guests on the program included Jeffries' mother Larayne; Donald Abrams, professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, who studies marijuana for medicinal uses; Irvin Rosenfeld, federal-supplied legal medical marijuana patient; Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project; Andrea Barthwell, former ONDCP deputy director; Roger Curtiss, Montana addiction counselor; and Don Murphy, a Republican state legislator who introduced medical marijuana bills in Maryland.

Jeffries was a hard act for former deputy drug czar Dr. Andrea Barthwell to follow, and in typical talk show host manner, Williams was making no pretense of being even-handed. "You don't know what this woman is going through," he barked, pointing at Raich. "You don't know what I'm going through. If my doctor is smart enough to be able to give me Oxycontin, which has lots of adverse effects -- but the government doesn't care about the adverse effects of these drugs -- I'm saying why can't the federal government expand this [NIDA compassionate use] program so I don't have to get locked up and pay taxes to keep people like you employed?"

There's plenty more in a similar vein. And it's available at online at online.

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Issue #355, 9/24/04 Editorial: The Moral Choice is Clear | With New Sentencing Legislation Pending in Congress, Church Leaders Urge an End to Mandatory Minimums | Patients, Doctors, Supporters Head to Washington to Demand Rescheduling of Marijuana as a Medicine | For Second Year, John W. Perry Fund Helps Students with Drug Convictions Afford College | DRCNet Interview: Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate | DRCNet Book Review: "Patients in The Crossfire: Casualties in The War On Medical Marijuana," by Americans For Safe Access | Action Alert: Still Time to Contact Judiciary Committee Members About HEA Drug Provision | Newsbrief: Schwarzenegger Signs Syringe Access Bill, Vetoes NEP Bill | Newsbrief: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Bill Barring High School Drug Testing | Newsbrief: New Jersey Needle Exchange Bill on Fast Track, Passes First Hurdle | Newsbrief: Former Child Actor Macauley Culkin Busted for Drugs in All-Too-Typical Cave-In to Police Search Request | Newsbrief: Montel Williams Show Brings Medical Marijuana Issue to the Masses | Newsbrief: Bush Warns of Canada Drug Threat, Whistles Past Afghan Opium Fields | Newsbrief: Guatemala Seeks More Anti-Drug Money from United States | Newsbrief: Decades of Colombian Drug War Brings... New, More Efficient Drug Organizations | Newsbrief: Narc Hates Free Publicity | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: British Drug Policy Think Tank Says Government Abandoned Planned Heroin Maintenance Expansion | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

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