O’Cannabiz speakers Ricki Lake and Montel Williams explain why they are cannabis advocates

Published Apr 30, 2019 11:45 a.m. ET
AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

Though there was no doubt a heavy presence of business people out to make millions in the cannabis industry in attendance, there were also incredibly inspiring talks given by prominent activists for medical marijuana legalization. They spoke on behalf of people rather than the businesses who are monopolizing with little care for consumers. Since Canada has chosen to legalize both recreational cannabis and medical prescriptions separately, many of the patients who are looking to treat medical conditions remain left behind. It is now much easier to head to the local dispensary than it is to obtain a medical license. With many doctors still unsure about advising a cannabis treatment that will work as efficiently as pharmaceutical medications. Two of the most anticipated speakers including Ricki Lake and Montel Williams discussed this hot topic quite heavily, sharing what motivated them to attend the event as well as what set them off on this journey of cannabis advocacy in the first place.

Montel Williams

Williams who is most popularly known for his position as host of the Montel William show which was watched by millions of fans between 1991 and 2008, spent two years with the US Marine Corps, 4 years with the US Naval Academy and 9 years with the US Navy. Montel's advocacy for medical marijuana is a personal journey as a user of CBD who has managed the challenging symptoms and damages so often caused by multiple sclerosis. A diagnosis he received several years ago when seeking help from a doctor and friend. Williams inspiring talk touched on the struggles of an addict that was on multiple pharmaceutical prescriptions to manage his symptoms while achieving little to no relief. The damage of various sedatives and painkillers became apparent to him which sparked a curiosity for alternative methods of treatment.

Cannabinoids along with a healthy diet are the base of what Montel regularly refers to during his talk at the Toronto O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo. The proof that the health and regulation of the body through consistent cannabinoid dosing that he recites is based on his personal experience with a daily schedule of CBD oil. CBD oil not only freed him from so many of his symptoms of both the disease and the medications. It also helped to reverse the damage caused by MS which leaves scarred and exposed internal brain connections exposed. Since using CBD oil daily, much of the impact caused can be managed and in some cases even reversed. The oil works by coating the receptors in the user's brain which send out signals to release chemicals that help to regulate things like pain, emotions, inflammation and energy levels.

Montel signed off by referencing his own success healing more than three times faster than doctors had predicted with virtually none of the adverse side effects. For both the treatment besides his regular MS symptoms, as well as a stroke which occurred only a year ago. His personal dedication to attendees was made clear with a direct message that said while he believed that regulation would be incredibly helpful for medical success. Most of the cannabis industry leaders are in it for the money, while heavily advertising and offering products that are meant for the recreational market. All while offering little to no direction or knowledge on specific medical needs for patients who come in to make purchases in these government regulated dispensaries. Williams also noted how little credit is being given to those who built the cannabis strain and customer base who were or are still imprisoned or charged with marijuana offences which inspired a wave of applause upon an official exit of the stage.

Ricki Lake

Ricki is an Emmy award-winning American actress, producer, and hosted The Ricki Lake Show which premiered 25 years ago and was broadcast worldwide from 1993-2004. When questioned about her motivation to work as a medical marijuana advocate through the documentary Weed the People, her answers surprised some in attendance. All her answers aligned with her inspiration which came from losing her husband 2 years ago that sparked her promoting much of her time to raising support and awareness of mental health stigmas, and the lack of available and effective pharmaceutical options to manage the symptoms. Her husband’s passion was cannabis oil, and it’s potential when used as a medicine to treat his grandfather's bone cancer.

Her public talk focused primarily on her latest marijuana documentary called Weed the People which follows several families that live in areas without legal, medical marijuana and are actively treating their children’s cancer symptoms using cannabis oil. Ricki quite openly described her opinion to all those in attendance. Stating that her view is that his plant is 100% medication and should be entirely decriminalized across the board to help medical patients and users who choose marijuana as either an alternative or addition to other traditional medicines.

Her documentary project titled Weed the People is a worldwide hit with millions who have an interest in the medicinal properties of cannabis oils. The film crew follows children through the various stages of treatment and success of different types of childhood cancers with cannabis oil. Either in addition to or as an alternative to traditional therapy. Watch as the cannabinoids go to work eradicating some kinds of cancer, while others that are a bit more aggressive have success with daily dosing that is overseen by a registered nurse and engineer who successfully treated her own cancer with cannabis oil. The kids have since been her focus as she offers a wealth of knowledge to youth patients ages 6 months to ten years old who are referred to her full time by other physicians. Follow the children through doctor visits, treatments, side effects, scans and tests that reveal the proof that cannabinoids are incredibly effective at suppressing certain forms of cancers.

Both featured headliners offered up a genuinely touching motivation behind their activism and participation in the cannabis industry thus far. Though Ricki Lake’s contribution appears to be driven by the bond, she shared with her late husband; it is important to shine a light on the benefits that anyone could achieve from certain cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. There is nothing more moving than hearing and seeing a man who is living proof of the benefits of cannabinoids. All support towards legalization is most certainly helping to raise awareness, and these medicinally specific topics are critical to the future evolution of the cannabis industry and its ability to serve those in dire need seeking the treatment of particular conditions. The professionalism of everyone involved just further bolsters the idea that not every marijuana user is a typical stoner, and that many are using cannabinoids to treat problems that often go undiagnosed. The applause by all those involved showed a state of solidarity on a day that the public was finally welcome to view the vendors. The incredibly positive influence this stature of people who many of us all over the world grew watching and trust is a normalization that is necessary to end the harshest stigmas still standing in the way of full decriminalization of pot all over the world.

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