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Louisiana: Governor Signs Legislation Amending State’s Dormant Medical Marijuana Law

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 19, 2016

    mj_researchGovernor John Bel Edwards signed legislation today amending the state’s dormant medical marijuana law.

    Senate Bill 271 permits physicians to ‘recommend’ rather than ‘prescribe’ medical cannabis therapy. The change allows doctors to authorize cannabis without running afoul of federal law, which prohibits the prescription of a schedule I controlled substance.

    The measure also expands the pool of conditions eligible for cannabis therapy to include the following: “cancer, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, or multiple sclerosis.”

    The bill does not amend language in the state’s Therapeutic Research Act limiting the preparation of medicinal cannabis products to non-herbal formulations, nor does it address provisions limiting state-licensed cannabis cultivation to a single provider, or the dispensing of cannabis products to no more than ten licensed pharmacies. Those restrictions were put in place by legislation signed into law last year. Separate legislation, SB 180, which explicitly immunizes the program’s participants from state criminal prosecution, remains pending in the House and is anticipated to be voted on as early as next week.

    Senate Bill 271 does include language requiring the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Center to decide whether or not they wish to seek licensing to grow medical marijuana for the state’s program by September 2, 2016.

    You can read the enrolled measure here.

    Louisiana is set to become the 25th state to permit for the physician-supervised use of medical cannabis and/or cannabis-infused preparations for qualified patients. 

    4 Responses to “Louisiana: Governor Signs Legislation Amending State’s Dormant Medical Marijuana Law”

    1. Julian says:

      The ammunition we need for the Texas legislature to improve marijuana law just keeps growing daily doesn’t it? Victory!

      I mean LOUISIANA amends their marijuana law and the Texas Republican party barely gets amendments on their platform. But hey, it’s progress!

      The beauty of it is right after Texas Governor Abbott signed the Compassionate Use Act of 2015 he sat right in front of executive director for Texas NORML JaxFinkle and said “I will NEVER sign a medical marijuana law!” Wide-eyed, one can imagine Jax thinking to herself… “But… Yoooou just diiiid…”

      The political theater has surpassed melodrama. I’m waiting for one of these governors to straight up proceed to beat the $#!+ out of himself in a raging fit of self-contradiction, like some science fiction multiple identity crisis where the T-1000 starts changing faces as he slowly disintegrates, thrashing in a pool of molten steel. (Oh God, and Swarzenegger actually WAS a governor… God help us all)…

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        This is some amazing stuff, alright!
        I’m gratified to see the “green tsunami” washing away some of the oppressive social fears of even invoking the name of cannabis, especially in the deep south and rural midwest, where they need it the most. These Dead-Enders are being forced into this somehow, some kind of political pressure (citizen lobby! Good work, Julian!) If politicians are good at anything, it’s playing both sides of the fence; but the cognitive dissidence that prohibition requires is rapidly becoming less our problem, and more their problem. And that is amusing!
        But payback isn’t the goal here; the real victory here is one for the people. As you no doubt know, in places like Louisianna and Kansas and Mississippi, paranoia and common sense prevent many citizens from speaking out, when they know they will likely receive a visit from the police in response. And when I say “visit” I mean no-knock raids virtually guaranteed to get someone killed, generally the host.
        Yeah, I saw that this one in Louisianna was limited to “non-herbal preparations” of cannabis (I’m not sure there is such a thing — are they talking about reintroducing Spice and the synthetic THC’s? Or are they just trying to describe extracts?) So that makes it nonfunctional, apparently.
        Still, it is forcing the conversation. And, it is taking ground. They used to just ignore us. As Tom Petty says, “You can walk away, but it’s not over!”

    2. linda swearengin says:

      with 25 states, will a 26th be enough to overturn the scheduling of marijuana to be changed? Should be enough proof to show positive medical benefit.

    3. marijuanareporter says:

      This is incremental change that will not end discrimination against marijuana smokers in Louisiana. We are here because smokers curated this plant through decades of war. It turns out the stuff we would throw in the trash as byproducts of our pursuit of the perfect plant makes good medicine for the seizing children. If they are benefiting from this, their parents should be fighting to end the war on the smokers who got us to this place. If they don’t they will seem ungrateful. Some of them are saying ‘we don’t want to legalize marijuana, we just want the oil for the kids.’ How do they think people discovered this stuff?

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