Access to Medical Marijuana Greatly Expanded in Louisiana
The Governor signed a bill into Louisiana law this week that will give many Louisianians the opportunity to use medical marijuana.
The bill itself greatly expands access to medial marijuana in two major ways. The first is that this bill makes it possible for medical marijuana to be recommended as a treatment option for virtually any and every condition. Secondly, prior to this bill being signed into law, only doctors or physicians in Louisiana who obtained a special license could recommend medical marijuana as a treatment option to patients. This bill wipes away that restriction and allows any doctor or physician to recommend it, as long as they are in good standing within the state.
In the bill itself, it names nine specific medical conditions that could use medical marijuana as treatment. However, the bill's verbiage widens to mostly all conditions by saying, "Any condition not otherwise specified in present law or proposed law that a physician, in his medical opinion, considers debilitating to an individual patient and is qualified through his medical education and training to treat."
Basically, if a Louisiana doctor or physician feels like medical marijuana could help the situation, he/she can recommend it to patients without any restrictions or guidelines including or excluding specific conditions. Recommending or not recommending medical marijuana is now completely in the hands of the doctors.
Access to medical marijuana in Louisiana has been difficult for many patients, but that should be a thing of the past courtesy of House Bill 819, which was proposed by Rep. Larry Bagley of Stonewall.