Louisiana House signs off on medical marijuana

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The Pelican State is closer to embracing marijuana for any medical condition

Louisiana’s medical cannabis program will be expanded through the approval from the House of Representatives of two new bills that are meant to bring medical cannabis to more people in need. The approvals came just a week after lawmakers were considering adding more conditions to the list for getting a medical marijuana card, as well as an initiative to allow dispensaries to deliver products to patient’s homes. These two bills, and a few more seeking to reform the current cannabis program in the state, were passed just a week ago by the Health and Welfare Committee, including one that will allow doctors to issue a recommendation for cannabis treatment for any affliction, instead of being forced to adhere to a list of conditions the state has.

The official sponsor of this bill is Representative Larry Bagley, and both of his bills were passed by the House with overwhelming support. “It’s something that deserves to be done,” Bagley told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview after the floor votes. “I knew that it was bipartisan. I never thought it had a chance to fail unless I messed up somewhere in the presentation.” The original proposal intended to add just traumatic brain injuries and concussions to the list of conditions; however, it was amended in the committee so medical marijuana can be recommended for any condition that a physician “considers debilitating to an individual patient.”

“I think what it’s going to mean is, people that have physical problems, they will be able to have an alternative to opioids,” he said. “I know we have a terrible addiction here in Louisiana with the opioid epidemic. Opioids can kill you. I don’t think anybody’s ever died from medical marijuana. It’s just a safety issue.”