Montel Williams: Cannabis Activist, Patient & Edible Creator From Daytime Television to Full Time Activism, Montel’s 17 Year Journey of Self-Healing with Cannabis

Edibles List Magazine Issue 38 Montel Williams Feature

Montel Brian Anthony Williams, actor, television personality, author, motivational speaker, and a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, he has been the host of radio shows and now, Williams is a purveyor of medical cannabis products. Still just as fit as he was while he was in service for our country, I sat down with Montel recently as he was on a tour of dispensaries to promote his new line of medically infused products Lenitiv Labs. What I experienced was a man who has spent his life for a cause, a plethora of causes to where his passion, energy and goals have led him on the journey as an Active Activists of life.

Montel Brian Anthony Williams was born on July 3, 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland and was raised in a family of six children. William’s family were Roman Catholics and he served as an altar boy from age 8 till he was 11 years. Then he rejected all organized religion, though he has been a student of many major world faiths. Montel attended Andover High School in neighboring Linthicum, Maryland, where he was elected president of his class in both his junior and senior years. He was an exemplary student, athlete, and musician, and became active in student government issues.

After graduating from high school, Montel joined the United States Marine Corps. From 1974 to 1989 Williams served in two different branches of the military. From 1974 to 1976 Montel served in the United States Marine Corps, until he was placed in the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS), after completion of NAPS, he was accepted to the Naval Academy to be part of the class of 1980. From 1980 to 1989, Williams served in the United States Navy. After nine years he retired at the rank of Lieutenant Commander, during his service he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal for his achievements. During his service in the Navy, Williams honed his natural gift for public speaking, he started down this road while conducting informal counseling for the families of the naval officers under his command. He was such a natural speaker and leader he was asked to do a few speaking engagements to local children in Kansas City, MO, and this experience led him into a three year motivational speaking career.

Montel Williams is most notably known as the host of The Montel Williams Show, which was syndicated by CBS in 1991. In 1996 Williams was awarded a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host, he was nominated for the same award in 2001 and 2002. Williams also used his speaking skills to segway into guest starring roles on many TV shows and a few movies.

Montel Williams has long used his fame as an outspoken advocate for legalizing medicinal cannabis use due to a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1999. Williams contributed to legalization efforts in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Following a “horrific battle” with opioid painkillers and addiction, Williams found that cannabis was the total package medicinally, he uses cannabis daily to help with his MS caused-neuropathic pain, which manifests in intense burning sensations from head to toe. In addition to reducing his pain, Williams states that cannabis has alleviated much of the depression he and many other MS patients suffer from.

Williams created the MS Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a focus on research and education a year after his own diagnosis. Williams has openly stated that he uses medical cannabis for many years, he has become a vocal advocate of cannabis, supporting efforts to pass medical cannabis laws in states, as well as calling for full legalization. It is with his activism that the community has started to understand and embrace medical cannabis as a true medicine that was denied us since the 1930’s. It is with the support of public figures that the movement of medical cannabis is moving forward and assisting patients with natural plant based alternatives.

Montel tried to keep his diagnosis private, however, when a tabloid newspaper threatened to print his story, he decided to go public with his health crisis. Montel spoke about his diagnosis on his talk show, but few people knew how much he was suffering, on set, Montel conducted interviews with poise, but during commercial breaks, he says he’d go backstage, sit down and cry because of the pain. He worked on mentally re-focusing to ease the pain, then go back on stage, unbeknownst to his guests and audience members, Montel did this regime for many years, while hosting The Montel Williams TV Show. Montel has said that cannabis helps him function in life, he has consumed cannabis every day for 17 years as a result of his MS. His activism and advocacy has been a personal journey for his health and well-being. The foundation that he started has been seeking a cure not only for Williams himself, but for the community of MS patients in need. With the philosophy of cannabis as a necessary medicine, his new advocacy is a clean pure medicine to alleviate pain and bring better health while living with chronically debilitating disease. This led Montel Williams to dive into the cannabis industry with the founding of Lenitiv Labs Scientific.

Cannabis Activists
Lenitiv Labs was founded by Montel Williams and is a line of quality medicinal cannabis. The line of juices and oils is now available in California and is being distributed throughout the state at many dispensaries. With proper research and formulation they have developed a product that is assisting many people with various types of illnesses and diseases. A high quality medicine, with benefits to establish better health and the possibility to alleviate the side effects of debilitating diseases. The team of respected scientists and medical professionals have set the bar high in terms of standards of practice in creating Lenitiv Scientific products. We know that this is not only a business for Montel, it is part of his activism and thankfully so for the millions of patients in need around the country. Williams supports the legalization of cannabis, however, he would like for the products coming out to be healthy and not sugary, cannabis laced junk food. He is worried that with the legalization of recreational cannabis consumption, the quality of products will go down hill and the patients that rely on cannabis as medicine will suffer.

Williams is quoted as saying “There have been times I’ve been so disappointed with the industry. People jump in, see it as the ‘green rush,’ and forget that 17 years ago people were dragged out of their homes with IVs in their arms, in their wheelchairs, for growing cannabis to treat awful symptoms of cancer,” He adds that “As things have changed in the past five years, people have forgotten that there were patients left on the battlefield.” In the past he has been appalled by aspects of this industry and that Cannabis should have been treated like any other plant-based medicine.

This August Montel Williams will be the Keynote Speaker at the highly respected Cannabis Science Conference taking place in Portland Oregon. Montel’s presentation will be on Wednesday, August 30th at 12pm in the Exhibit Hall of the Portland Convention Center. Josh Crossney CEO of the Cannabis Science Conference states “We are extremely excited and proud to have Montel Williams as the Plenary Presenter at our 2017 Cannabis Science Conference. Montel was the first mainstream celebrity to publicly advocate for the legalization and normalization of medical cannabis. His dedication to providing the highest quality medical cannabis products through his company, Lenitiv Labs, makes him a great fit for our highly scientific and medical event. Montel’s work as a patient, advocate, influencer and founder has truly helped to advance this industry over the years.”

This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear one of the influencers of the medical cannabis movement at the Cannabis Science Conference. This conference will highlight the many advancements they are reaching to support better understanding of the plant and its healing properties. Montel and his team will be there with the Lenitiv line of products to share about what has given him stability and regain his health to balance.

I had the pleasure to try the Lenitiv Mini Shot Drink recently and the taste was a fruit juice drink formula. With an array of fruit juices of strawberry, coconut, acai, mango, pineapple, raspberry and pomegranate juices and the drink has a delicious smoothie consistency. Most notable that they have developed a system that dispenses the cannabis formulation at the moment of consumption and this is a unique delivery system and the first of its kind within the cannabis market. The Mini One Shot does not require refrigeration, comes in 20MG, 50MG & 100MG doses, and is available in THC and CBD formulations. They also have a CO2 Oil formula that you may eat or vaporise and is has a proprietary terpene profile that provides a unique flavor and great taste. At this time Lenitiv products are available in California, but will be coming in the future to other medical or recreational states.

Political Activism
Williams was once a Republican, leaving the GOP in 1993. He is a supporter of LGBT rights. He has since left the Republican Party and has been registered as an Independent. He endorsed Hillary Clinton for president as the superior choice, writing that Donald Trump poses a “clear and present danger” to the nation.

Veteran’s Advocate
Williams is an outspoken advocate for US military veterans. He has publicly lobbied for government action to promptly resolve the Veterans Affairs scandal[2] calling for a surge in effort under the banner VASURGE, and has promoted a White House petition to this effect. Williams’ campaign to reform the VA began with an impromptu speech to veterans at a picnic that was recorded by the local newspaper.[19] Several days later, he authored an op-ed laying out his plan to reform the VA.[20]

Passionate Author
Since 1997, he has published five books, respectively ‘Mountain, Get Out Of My Way’ (1997), ‘Life Lessons and Reflections’ (2000), ‘A Dozen Ways to Sunday. Mountain Movers Press’ (2001), ‘Body Change: The 21 Day Fitness Program for Changing Your Body and Changing Your Life’ (2003) and ‘Climbing Higher’ (2005).

Sports Enthusiast
Montel shared that one of his favorite activities is snowboarding which is a great sport for MS. He feels it assist him to balance and walk and he can have more control of his body for increased mobility. He seems to seek joy in bringing forth information and sharing about the many positive aspect of life. This focus and goal has enabled him to contribute to the community of many varied subjects.

Active and Devoted Husband and Father
Montel Williams has been married three times. He married his first wife Rochele See in 1982 and two daughters Ashley Williams (b. 1984) and Maressa Williams (b. 1988),and after seven year of marriage the couple divorced in 1989. He married for the second time in 1992 to Grace Morley and had a son Montel Brian Hank Williams (b. 1993), and a daughter, Wyntergrace Williams (b. 1994), after eight years together, the couple divorced in 2000. Montel married Tara Fowler in 2007, the couple is still happily married to this day.

Montel Williams has led a life of commitment and purpose, self-motivated to make a difference and contribute to the betterment of society. Because of his physical issues associated with MS, he has embarked on a quest to not only to help others, but to help himself with medical cannabis. He has embraced the brave path to enlighten the public on the value of medical cannabis and to create a company that will fulfill those needs. A man on a quest with a heart of an activist, whose message has resonated with people from all walks of life. It is the culmination of an amazing life that has brought Montel Williams to probably the most important role he will have, that of a cannabis activist, educator and industry leader.

Cannabis Science Conference will be taking place on August 28th to the 30th in Portland Oregon at the Portland Convention Center. Montel Williams will be the Keynote Speaker on Wednesday, August 30th, at 12pm. Please visit the website to hear Montel speak at the Cannabis Science Conference.

For more information on where you may find Lenitiv products please visit the website at

Thank you Montel Williams from Edibles Magazine, may you be pain free forever more, and always be acknowledged for your contribution to the expanding horizons of medical cannabis. An activist from the heart, Montel Williams.

Keiko Beatie

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