Montel Williams, a former talk show host and multiple sclerosis patient, was in Legislative Hall in Dover today to support medical marijuana legislation introduced in the Delaware State Senate.
Senate Bill 17 would allow Delaware patients suffering from several serious illnesses to receive medical marijuana upon the recommendations of their doctors.
Williams has been using medical marijuana for a decade to treat the pain and spasms associated with his degenerative disease.
“The Delaware legislature should act without delay to make marijuana legally available for medical use,” Williams said. “Every day that legislators delay is another day of needless suffering for patients like me all across the state.”
Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) says she’s noticed that many lawmakers are having a change of heart on the issue.
“Legislators have begun to understand the very real need for legislative action to allow this treatment option without in any way undermining law enforcement or the prosecution of those engaged in the recreational use of marijuana,” Henry said. “This bill carries forward common sense restrictions that are now part of state law and it provides an appropriately strong component that is right for our communities.”
Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. already have passed laws that allow the medical use of marijuana to treat patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, and similarly devastating diseases.
“Delaware lawmakers now have an opportunity to ensure that patients suffering in Delaware will be treated with the same compassion as patients fortunate enough to live in one of those 15 other states,” Williams said.
Under SB 17, qualified patients could obtain medical marijuana from state-licensed medical cannabis organizations regulated by the State Department of Health and Social Services, which would also issue medical marijuana ID cards to patients who receive recommendations from their doctors. Public use of marijuana and driving under the influence would be prohibited.