Talk show host and marijuana advocate Montel Williams spoke out against opponents of Arkansas’ proposed medical marijuana legalization measure, calling them “racist” for creating an ad which features an African American man as the drug dealer.
Williams spoke at the Arkansas Capitol on Thursday, along with members of Arkansans for Compassionate Care. Aside from the race issue, Montel also spoke out against the fact that the group portrayed medical marijuana patients as gun wielding gangsters.
Williams told a crowd, “Offensive is really an understatement. It’s the most egregiously racist, false statement you’ve ever seen in your life. They’ve people sitting in a picture holding guns, talking about medical marijuana, and of course they happen to be different colors to make sure you’re as irritated and angry as you can be.”
The ad in question was funded by the Family Council Action Committee. The ad’s narrator says that with medical marijuana, “The grass-growers and dope dealers would be in charge. Arkansas doesn’t need a state filled with stoned-out zombies, or the criminal activities that come from legalizing controlled substances.”
Williams believes the ad is misleading, using scare tactics to convince people not to consider medical marijuana legalization. He told reporters, “It’s a way to see if they can scare people into thinking this is something different than it is.”
Jerry Cox, the head of the Family Council Action Committee told the press, “Sure, [Williams] wanted to seize on that, but that’s not the message we’re sending. We’re sending a message that this harmful act is going to affect every family in this state if it passes.”
If voters approve Arkansas’ proposed medical marijuana law, patients suffering from cancer, HIV, AIDS, Glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease would be able to purchase and grow marijuana to help deal with the symptoms of their conditions.
Should Arkansans vote to legalize medical marijuana this November, Arkansas will become the first Southern state in the US to have a medical marijuana program.