Medical marijuana got a big media boost on the September 21, 2004, episode of the Montel Williams Show. Williams is a vocal advocate for med-pot, suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and until recently was living a life of constant physical pain and depression (CC#51, Montel for marijuana).
Williams’ pain was so severe that he once contemplated suicide. He says that he loaded a .357 magnum, sat in his closet, and twirled the gun near his head in hopes that it would accidentally discharge and kill him. Fortunately, Williams did not end his life that day, and he now smokes marijuana every night to alleviate his pain.
Williams’ show included a segment about California med-pot patient Angel McLary Raich, who had launched a lawsuit against Attorney General John Ashcroft and DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson (CC#48, US med-pot courtroom victory). Raich suffers from an inoperable brain tumor and wasting syndrome and was devastated when her medicine was destroyed.
Debbie Jeffries, author of Jeffrey’s Journey: A Determined Mother’s Battle for Medical Marijuana for Her Son, was also featured. Her book is a moving story about a child on stimulants, tranquilizers, and antidepressants who was set free by cannabis.
Jeffries described how the DEA raided their supplier, the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM). The Santa Cruz-based growing collective was raided in September 2002 and suffered the seizure of 165 plants (CC#41, Californian cities versus the feds). The raid made access to Jeffrey’s medicine impossible and he ended up being institutionalized.
Williams’ next guest, and one the audience wasn’t very fond of, was former deputy drug czar Dr Andrea Barthwell.
“You don’t know what this woman is going through,” Williams railed against Barthwell, pointing at Raich. “You don’t know what I’m going through.”
He added, “I’m asking that we do the same thing that we do for anyone else in this country who’s ill… Make it prescribable.”
If Montel Williams seems angry, he is. He is outraged that he has to break the law in New York when other states like Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington permit the use of med-pot.
Of the obvious injustice he says, “I’m breaking the law every day, and I will continue to break the law.”
? Montel Williams’ new book is called Climbing Higher.
? Montel Williams MS Foundation: 331 West 57th Street, PMB 420, New York, NY 10019; tel: 877-MontelMS (666-8356); firstname.lastname@example.org; www.montelms.org
? To watch the med-pot Montel episode: www.pot-tv.net/shows/3027.html
The secret world of pot
Renowned Canadian author, journalist, broadcaster and icon Pierre Berton recently outed himself on comedian Rick Mercer’s weekly CBC satire show, Monday Report. Berton, 84, starred in the Celebrity Tip segment, in which he instructed a young man in the art of rolling a “cone.”
Berton told viewers to use “a good rolling surface” ? which he practiced by employing two of his best-selling books on Canadian history as a makeshift table. He then loaded his preferred “hydroponic” weed into his favorite plain white rollies, adding that the joint should be “firm, but not too firm.” At the end of the amusing segment, Berton, an Order of Canada winner, emerges from the kitchen munching on a bowl of cheese puffs.
The staged program was not entirely fictionalized. In fact, the author of the popular and trippy children’s book, The Secret World of Og, told the Toronto Star that he has been using marijuana since the 1960’s.
“I enjoy the odd joint but I never go overboard,” he said. “I smoke about once a month to help me relax.”
Berton also thinks the current marijuana laws are wrong and need to be changed. “If people who are of age want to have a smoke, let them have a smoke, I say,” he said.
? To watch the show: www.pot-tv.net/shows/3122.html
Harrison Ford, 62, star of such cult-classic films as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, gets a huge thumbs-down from CC for placing his 17-year-old son Malcolm into rehab for a so-called “marijuana addiction.” Ford accompanies his son to the Los Angeles-based therapy sessions several times a week.
Ford, a well-known closet toker, has proven himself to be a hypocrite of the worst kind. This is not surprising considering Ford has lent his celebrity to the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) (CC#39, Celebrity stoners). CASA makes ridiculous claims, saying that smoking pot is like “playing Russian roulette,” and that weed “primes the brain for heroin.”
As part of the rehab program’s rules, Ford’s son must stand at the beginning of every session and say, “My name is Malcolm and I am a drug addict.”
One night in Amsterdam
Paris Hilton, 23, is the star of yet another tawdry home video. The hotel heiress climbed to fame on the publicity of the first of her skin flicks, One Night in Paris, after it was “leaked” on the internet.
Her newest tape, said to be 11 hours long, was released to Britain’s News of the World tabloid and shows Hilton getting stoned and intimate with a few of her ex-beaus in a variety of locations.
Hilton is apparently well aware of the sensual benefits of toking up. The opening scene of the film is set in Amsterdam, where Hilton is celebrating her birthday. Appropriate to her surroundings, the party girl takes a huge hit from a bong. According to sources quoted in Star magazine, Hilton “breathes in so much of the smoke that when she exhales, she’s clearly having a great time.”
Later, in Mexico with her then-boyfriend Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, Hilton is seen enjoying a joint. A bemused Carter wisely warns her not to lose the incriminating tape, to which Hilton replies, “It’ll be Paris Hilton Part Two: How to Roll a Joint.”
Hilton’s new sex and drugs movie evokes fond memories of the infamous Pam and Tommy Lee: Stolen Honeymoon sex video, in which Pamela Anderson is seen rolling a joint between trysts with her rocker husband.
The world-famous magician-comic duo Penn & Teller shocked audiences with their pro-legalization stance in the entertaining Showtime series, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
This unusual show finds the verbose Penn and silent Teller taking aim at the US drug war and its treatment of its own people. The magicians backed up their anti-prohibitionist views with facts and their usual good humor. This show is a hilarious and educated review of prohibition in the US, as well as an endorsement of medical marijuana’s virtues.
Moreover, Bullshit! is a show devoted to the idea that we can all be fooled by fakes, frauds, or liars (often in the form of our trusted government officials). As libertarians, Penn and Teller try to show how we can stand up to these lies, both individually and as a society.
The pair seem to say that if we think critically about the claims we hear (such as “pot is bad for you”), we’ll be less likely to believe them. This is an important concept for the average TV viewer to consider. Perhaps if more people questioned the logic of the drug war, there would be more support for ending it.
? To watch the show: www.pot-tv.net/shows/2705.html
Respect for Rodney
On a sad note, bug-eyed comedian and pot smoker Rodney Dangerfield passed away after undergoing heart valve surgery at the age of 82. Dangerfield suffered a small stroke after the operation and developed dangerous complications. After slipping in and out of a coma, he died peacefully with his family around him.
Dangerfield loved marijuana, and famously smoked pot in a hospital after suffering a heart attack in September 2002 (CC#42, Celebrity stoners). He lit a joint while changing clothes in the intensive care unit, following his doctor’s recommendation to smoke medical pot. Dangerfield wrote positively about his pot use in his recent biography, It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me.
Dangerfield’s first major film role was in the pot-positive cult hit, Caddyshack, in which Bill Murray and Chevy Chase’s characters share a massive “Bob Marley” joint of a “grass” strain which you can play golf on as well as get stoned with.
Dangerfield appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson an astounding 70 times. He will be remembered for such self-deprecating jokes as: “When I was born, I was so ugly that the doctor slapped my mother,” and for his classic declaration, “I get no respect.”