Brian Witte, Associated Press
Former talk show host Montel Williams speaks out in favor of legislation that would allow physician-approved use of medical marijuana in Maryland on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 in Annapolis, Md. Williams, who grew up in Baltimore, is a multiple sclerosis patient who says other opiates have been ineffective for him.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Former talk show host Montel Williams is urging state lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland, saying it has a role helping those with painful ailments such as his own.

The Baltimore native spoke Monday at a news conference with Maryland lawmakers who support legalized medical marijuana.

Williams, 54, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990. He says he has been living with pain in his lower extremities, face and side for years and adds marijuana provides the only relief he can find.

The Maryland Senate passed a bill last year to allow physician-approved use of marijuana. The House didn't pass the measure but lawmakers in that chamber say they will offer a similar bill again this year with some changes.