Montel Williams is one of the highest-profile advocates for cannabis reform in the United States. He has used medical cannabis products to effectively manage the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis (MS) after being diagnosed with the disease in 1999.
Williams began his professional career in the United States Marine Corps. He was the first black Marine selected to attend the Naval Academy Prep School, graduate from the United States Naval Academy and be commissioned as a Naval Officer.
Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in general engineering and a minor in international security affairs from the Naval Academy. Over the course of his 22-year military career, Williams was awarded three Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals and several other military awards and citations. He also was given a Meritorious Service Award for his positive portrayal of the military throughout the 17-year run of The Montel Williams Show.
Williams achieved his celebrity status as an Emmy Award-winning television personality whom Americans invited into their homes for more than 17 years. Alongside his TV career, he has gained global recognition for his work as an inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur and advocate for cannabis patients worldwide.
In 1999, at the height of his TV career, Williams experienced his first symptoms of MS – a sharp and 24- hour neuropathic pain in his feet and legs. When pharmaceutical intervention proved ineffective, his doctor recommended medical cannabis as part of his holistic treatment regimen. Ever since, Williams has been using cannabis products as a medication to manage the debilitating symptoms of his MS.
Williams became an early advocate of medical cannabis law reform in the U.S. In the early days of his advocacy work, patients were being dragged out of their homes in wheelchairs by the police for using cannabis to treat their pain, and Williams was one of the few high-profile voices on Capitol Hill fighting for their rights. Over the past 20 years, he has been instrumental in the passage of medical cannabis legislation in key states, and led the campaign for military veterans to access medical cannabis without the threat of losing their benefits.
When Williams first began using cannabis, there was little research into its medical viability. Williams sought out the latest in cannabis manufacturing technologies and research, and worked closely with a formulator to ensure that his medicine was the highest quality available.
In 2017, Williams founded Lenitiv Scientific (Lenitiv), a provider of premium hemp- and cannabis-derived products. Lenitiv is the culmination of Williams’ life’s work as a champion of the people – providing patients and adult users alike with safe, reliable access to the same high-quality cannabis products that he personally has relied upon for nearly two decades to improve his own quality of life.