The Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday approved a medical marijuana bill, sending it onto the floor for a vote scheduled 5/4/15. SB143, sponsored by Senator Mills, allows medical marijuana to be produced and delineates a pharmacy panel and methods of dispensing, in addition to banning any combustible use of the medication. Mills sponsored a similar bill last year but it was unanimously voted down in Committee. This year, Mills secured the support of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association and created a strict list of conditions for which the prescriptions can be issued. Interestingly, Louisiana has technically already legalized medical marijuana; the law was passed back in 1991, but there were no distribution centers. In the Committee meeting, Senator Claitor expressed concern that the Louisiana system could become “basically a sham” referencing California’s purportedly lax medical marijuana standards, but Senator Mills and Michael Ranatza (head of the Sheriff’s Association) assured members that they also wished to secure “the complete confidence of the public” by tightly controlling the product. The Louisiana District Attorney’s Association still does not support the bill, pending FDA approval of the drug, which is still classified as Schedule I.
Read the current status of SB143 and access the full text here.