Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Montel Williams Ticketed For Drug Pipe Possession

Let me start out by saying that Montel is a douche on many levels, but his personal choices have nothing to do with his recent citation.  Williams has MS and is therefore living with a disability.  He uses medical marijuana to deal with the chronic pain. Those who have been legally prescribed medical marijuana for chronic pain are not bound to enter into drug rehab programs or be held liable by the law.
The Milwaukee County sheriff's office says the Transportation Security Administration found Williams had a pipe commonly used for marijuana as he passed through a security checkpoint Tuesday.

The sheriff's office says Williams paid the $484 citation and was released to continue his travel. (source)
Marijuana's characterization as a gate way drug, totally ignores the fact that for many it functions as a legitmate medicine to make life easier.  It is ridiculous that he was fined, when it is common knowledge that this man has a disability. How was the public served by fining him almost 500 dollars for medicine he needs to function?  Would it better if Williams were curled in a fetal position, trapped in his home, unable to interact with the public?

Repeatedly I have heard the argument that medical marijuana is just an excuse to get high.  It seems to me that the government is fine with drugs, as long as it benefits pharmaceutical companies. It is also highly ableist to tell someone who is in chronic pain, how they should manage this pain, but yet those that are TAB seem to think that they have this right -- that they somehow understand what we are going through and know better than us.  Unless you live a life that is plagued with pain, you have no idea what it feels like.

Is it really better for people to fill their bodies with harmful medication that destroy their livers, than smoke a joint and find relief?  I think that these people have never known real lasting pain and I think that they have never watched someone they love suffer.

If Montel were in California or even here in Canada, he would be able to have his medicine without consequence. By not having legalized medical marijuana throughout the states, he is basically being cordoned off into a small area and his freedom of movement is being restricted. Montel has the money to be able to pay the fine, but how would this effect someone without his income.  We already know that people living with disabilities are largely not living the high life on disability payments and in fact, are most often living in poverty.  It is difficult enough to afford the medicine they need and if they are further charged because of spurious laws, how are they to negotiate their lives?

The only reason we know about this fine is because it happened to a celebrity; however, the persecution of the disabled who use medical marijuana is a common thing.  Parents have lost custody of their children, despite the strong medical evidence that their usage is medicinal.  People have lost jobs.  The consequences happen everyday and are not noted because the disabled don't count, unless someone is trying to pity us in someway.   To me, the criminalizing or in some way penalizing those who use medical marijuana amounts to oppression.  TAB people should not have the right to tell us how to manage our various conditions.