NEW YORK – As a sufferer of the debilitating disease multiple sclerosis (search), talk show host Montel Williams (search) has long been lobbying as an advocate for the use of medical marijuana. He has said he uses it each night to alleviate his pain.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court (search) ruled 6-3 to give the federal government the right to prosecute the use of pot for medicinal purposes, even in states that have laws permitting it.
Williams — who was diagnosed with MS about six years ago — reacted to the high court's decision on FOX News Live on Tuesday.
Williams said the ruling itself doesn’t really change anything, because the feds in this country have always had the right to arrest someone for using marijuana, an illegal drug in the U.S., for any reason.
“It goes back to what it was two days ago,” he told FOX News' Brigitte Quinn on Tuesday. “The ruling didn’t say that it overrides state laws for marijuana. It just says that the federal government has the right to persecute and prosecute patients who use marijuana under a doctor’s prescription.”
Williams takes issue with the fact that the issue of medicinal marijuana (search) has gone from hospital halls to government halls.
“It’s so stupid,” he told FOX News. “We’ve turned something that is really a medical issue between a patient and a doctor into a political issue, and should put this back in the hands of doctors.”
He also said the U.S. government is hypocritical: Publicly it denounces the use of pot to help those afflicted with various illnesses, but privately it’s been funding a small sample of “test” patients to see how they respond to marijuana as a form of treatment — and has been doing so for the past quarter-century, according to Williams.
“Our own government studies have proven its efficacy. Our own government continues to dispense it,” he said. “How ridiculously stupid is it for our country to say 'there are seven people who can find relief from their pain or their illness, but the rest of you be damned.' I’m a taxpayer and I’m sorry, I don’t buy this.”
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society issued a statement of its own on its Web site in reaction to the Supreme Court's latest decision on the matter.
"It is important for everyone to realize that we still do not have the necessary scientific information to determine the safety and efficacy of marijuana for medical use in MS," the statement reads in part.
FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans contributed to this report.