The Fight Over Medical Marijuana | Op-Docs | The New York Times

An Op-Doc profiles Chris Williams, a medical marijuana grower in Montana who now faces life in prison. Subscribe to the Times Video newsletter for free and get …


  1. The fact this man was a hard working individual, helping others, following guidelines and had a son and yet had to go to prison for 80 years? MINIMUM! My heart hurts for him.

  2. People have often tried using conventional medicines with no help to them, due to bad side effects. Can you really blame them when they resort to different medicines like marijuana?

  3. See, I am a Trump supporting conservative but I don't really have strong opinios for or against legalizing marijuana, but if I had to make the ultimate decision for the country I would say legalize it. There is no way that that man deserves to be in prison for 80+ years…period. Especially when people of both legal and illegal status commit far worse crimes like torturing, murdering, and raping. States rights matter people, federal government needs to back off, but they won't. Only voters can reduce it's influence. Vote for small government! If you don't like Republicans, I get it! Be a libertarian!

  4. Marijuana is being used widely today as a treatment for many aches, pains, and sicknesses. The problem is that there hasn't been enough research done to prove whether or not it is effective. So far studies have shown that people who use medical marijuana have experienced pain relief. Marijuana has also not been proven to be harmful to the body. There are no reported deaths from marijuana use. From the reports of deaths that have been issued it has been from people who have used marijuana that was laced with other drugs that people have had bad reactions to. There is certainly no reason why not to allow people to use marijuana as a medicinal product if they believe it works. There is no reason, however, to send someone to prison over this predicament.

  5. I thoroughly agree with your highlighted issues brought on conflicting laws and rules imposed in USA. This is a conflicting topic. One thing that annoys is difference in laws that exists in United States. I don’t see a reason for legalizing marijuana in state level like Washington, Montana, Colorado if federal laws will hinder state laws afterwards. I believe ethically principle of respect for autonomy should be followed here. In addition, marijuana has been legalized for medical purpose and I strongly believe that the ethical issues of no harm principle of John Stuart Mill applies in here. It is of this following of ethics that Chris Williams have had his medical facility of marijuana in run keeping in mind the sensitivity of society and precautions he took for their benefit of all. It is of this that he had local police and drug enforcement task people tour his medical marijuana facility to show that he was operating legally with sole purpose for benefits of medicines. Since he was following all the state laws and did everything for benefit of all with no harm principle, the sudden actions of federal laws of destroying his entire effort and work and holding him in custody was something unjustified. How are the patients supposed to get their medication if the growers have to be in constant fear of losing their hard earned living? Several scientific research and studies have underwent claiming that marijuana have benefits when treating cancer patients to people suffering from severe anxiety disorders and seizure cases. It was due to this reasons many states have legalized marijuana for medical purpose. In this condition, the abrupt decisions of government declaring ban on marijuana mentioning dangerous drugs seems monopoly and hinder the respect for autonomy. Furthermore, as mentioned by ethics of Utilitarianism what I feel is Chris was trying to do was acting his best to provide maximum benefits for the wellbeing of sick people.

  6. In response to the moron below who lives under a rock, marijuana DOES have medicinal purpose. It is a scientific fact that it slows the growth of cancer. why would you legalize something that keeps people from dying? populationcontrol, money, power. Lets keep the prisons full..its 60,000$ a year per person to be in prison for one year…. they make more money locking you up than letting you earn on your own being free….
    marijuana is a plant… pharamacutical companies are the ones who are killing people… marijuana has other properties and calming effects as well as stress relief.

    There are millions of. marijuana smokers who live and work and smoke. why are drug charges carrying extreme stints into the prison system …
    80 years in prison for marijuana but you get 5 years for murder and six months for rape…..

  7. There is no reason medical marijuana should be illegal. ADHD medication has meth in it it doctors give that to any kid with a problem. And giving it to kids without ADHD causes anxiety and insomnia pretty much for life. and they wont give a dying kid cannabis oil.

  8. Medical marijuana is legal statewide in Montana but it is still not federally legal. So while Chris Williams had local police and drug enforcement task people tour his medical marijuana facility to show that he was operating legally, he had no rights in the eyes of the federal enforcers. In 2009 the Department of Justice issued a document that said that federal enforcers should not focus on medical marijuana establishments that were in compliance with the state law. Since Chris was following all the state laws and was up to code, I do not understand why the feds decide to do this. Then the government released a document that said that only patients are protected not the growers. How are the patients supposed to get their medication if the growers have to be in constant fear of losing their hard earned living? The government also deemed marijuana a dangerous drugs despite the numerous, vast amounts of scientific studies showing its benefits when treating anywhere from cancer patients to people who suffer from severe anxiety to children with grand mal seizures. I think that the government should have at least gave him a warning so that he could give his patients a warning instead of just ruining everything and giving his patients no where to go. This man is now in jail for following the law and doing things legally statewide, just not federally. I do not understand why the federal government chose to focus on that medical marijuana establishment in Montana, when much harder and dangerous drugs run ramped on the streets everywhere else. I feel like that time and money could have gone to something way more effective and beneficial, rather than taking that mans life away. I am in full support for making medical marijuana legal on a federal level so that people like this man do not have to sit in jail for simply doing his job to provide care to sick people.


  10. supremacy clause- when push comes to shove. federal Gov' shoves harder."congress declared weed as dangerous drug"? how bout meth labs,in my opinion. the feds need to stop this and go raid labs instead of legal weed growers…twisted

  11. Legalisation works perfectly fine here in the netherlands. No one even smokes it here, except for ill and foreign people. And some people who just want to have fun, occassionally.

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