Montel Williams says Ad opposing legal marijuana shops in Arkansas is racist

Talk show host Montel Williams took exception to an ad that opposes legal marijuana shops in Arkansas, calling it racist and false while speaking to a crowd gathered in front of the state capitol in Little Rock on Thursday. “Offensive is really an understatement. It’s the most egregiously racist, false statement you’ve ever seen in your life,” he said. “They’ve (got) people sitting in a picture holding guns, talking about medical marijuana, and of course they happen to be of different colors to make sure you’re as irritated and angry as you can be,” he added.

According to E! Online, Williams “has openly expressed his support for medical marijuana, which he says he uses to treat symptoms of his multiple sclerosis in New York.” The ad that has Williams worked up was sponsored by the Family Council Action Committee, a conservative group who paid $1,000 for 30 seconds of airtime and unsuccessfully sued to get legalizing medical marijuana off the Arkansas ballot. At one point, the ad shows a black actor filling bags with marijuana while sitting at a table with guns. The ad also shows white actors portraying marijuana users.

“The grass-growers and dope dealers would be in charge,” a narrator says in the ad. “Arkansas doesn’t need a state filled with stoned-out zombies, or the criminal activities that come from legalizing controlled substances.” But Jerry Cox, the head of the Family Council Action Committee, denied any racial overtones.

“Sure, he wanted to seize on that, but that’s not the message we’re sending,” he said. “We’re sending a message that this harmful act is going to affect every family in this state if it passes.” “The Arkansas measure would allow patients with qualifying conditions to buy marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries with a doctor’s recommendation. If approved, Arkansas would become the first Southern state to legalize medical marijuana,” the Washington Post reported.

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