Governor Edwards signed an expansion of last year’s medical marijuana measure, which would allow patients with certain conditions access to the drug. The new law (SB271 by Senator Mills) will allow people suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, wasting syndrome, seizure disorders and spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis to seek a doctor’s “recommendation” for non-intoxicating cannabis oil treatment. The law clarifies the language to “recommend” rather than “prescribe” in order to avoid potential run-ins with federal prohibition and protect clinicians. Opponents of the law argued that the bill could be a “slippery slope” toward legalization, while opponents presented the potential benefits and strict manufacturing and access provisions. Senator Mills predicts that Louisiana is about two years away from getting medical marijuana to patients. The workers’ comp industry is unlikely to see many claims related to medical marijuana once the process is in place, but other states, including New Mexico, have required carriers to pay for claimants’ prescriptions.
Read more from the Advocate here.