Louisiana lawmakers weigh legalizing smoking marijuana for medical, nonmedical uses | LouisianaPosted by On

Cannabis in growing house

(The Center Square) – Louisiana lawmakers are considering expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program and may even be poised to take the once-nearly-unthinkable step of legalizing it for all adults.

Medical cannabis technically has been legal in Louisiana since 1978, though the Louisiana Legislature didn’t take concrete steps to make it available until 2016. While the program took about three years to get products into patients’ hands, lawmakers have moved quickly since to broaden its scope.

Though legal access to therapeutic cannabis products initially was limited to patients with specific ailments, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last year to give doctors the ability to recommend access for any patient they think will benefit. Doctors can’t officially prescribe marijuana because it remains illegal under federal law; the recommendation is a legal workaround.

The state House will consider House Bill 391 on Monday. It would add smokeable raw marijuana to Louisiana’s legal options for medical use for the first time. Supporters said the flower is cheaper than the tinctures now available and is a safer alternative than opioids for some patients. The Health and Welfare Committee advanced the bill to the House floor with a 12-1 vote, and Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has expressed support for the change.

“This is wildly popular…

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(The Center Square) – Louisiana lawmakers are considering expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program and may even be poised to take the once-nearly-unthinkable step of legalizing it for all adults.

Medical cannabis technically has been legal in Louisiana since 1978, though the Louisiana Legislature didn’t take concrete steps to make it available until 2016. While the program took about three years to get products into patients’ hands, lawmakers have moved quickly since to broaden its scope.

Though legal access to therapeutic cannabis products initially was limited to patients with specific ailments, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last year to give doctors the ability to recommend access for any patient they think will benefit. Doctors can’t officially prescribe marijuana because it remains illegal under federal law; the recommendation is a legal workaround.

The state House will consider House Bill 391 on Monday. It would add smokeable raw marijuana to Louisiana’s legal options for medical use for the first time. Supporters said the flower is cheaper than the tinctures now available and is a safer alternative than opioids for some patients. The Health and Welfare Committee advanced the bill to the House floor with a 12-1 vote, and Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has expressed support for the change.

“This is wildly popular…



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