|Photo: News Center|
|Montel Williams lights a joint at the urging of Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion|
Once Williams's pain level became so intense he was in tears, Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion shouted from the audience, "Why don't you just take your medicine?" The audience applauded and gave a standing ovation as Montel sat down, got out a joint and fired it up.
According to Williams, his pain level drops tremendously when he uses marijuana, and if not for medical cannabis he would not have been able to bear the nerve pain he endured prior to and while on stage.
About 250 people came to the convention in Portland to learn how they can get involved in growing or selling medical marijuana, reports WCSH6.com.
The conference was held to answer questions about what Maine's medical marijuana law means for patients, health care providers, law enforcement agencies and others, reports Kim I. Hartman at Digital Journal.
Keynote speaker Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, uses marijuana to help ease the symptoms including chronic nerve pain. He said "people like me shouldn't be treated as criminals for using marijuana for pain control for a variety of diseases and conditions."
Maine voters last November approved a ballot measure expanding their existing medical marijuana law, originally passed in 1999 but until now lacking any means of distribution, allowing for retail dispensaries where approved patients can legally and safely buy cannabis.
Maine is the fifth state to provide for state-licensed dispensaries of medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions.
In Maine, the nonprofit dispensaries will be licensed and regulated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, but specific procedures are not yet in place.
A division of the Health and Human Services Department is accepting dispensary applications until June 25. Only applications from nonprofit corporations will be accepted.