An outspoken medical marijuana proponent, talk-show host Montel Williams lashed out this week at an Arkansas ad against a ballot proposal, calling it "racist."
According to CBS affiliate KHTV in Little Rock, Williams told a crowd in the Arkansas capital Thursday that the 30-second spot opposing a ballot initiative that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes is "the most egregiously false, racist statement you've ever seen in your life."
In the ad, paid for by the Family Council Action Committee, a black man is shown dealing drugs as the narrator talks about "dope dealers" taking advantage of the measure.
Jerry Cox of the Family Council told the TV station the ad is accurate and said drug dealers know more than anyone else about marijuana.
The ballot measure, if approved, would make the Arkansas first southern state to legalize medical marijuana. It is opposed by the Arkansas Pharmacists Association. The state's Sheriffs' Association also said it plans to oppose the measure.
Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, admitted the issue is a personal one. "For me, cannabis became a choice that my doctor and I had to make," he said. He has been campaigning for the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes for more than a decade.