SB143, the bill designed to create a distribution system for medical marijuana in Louisiana, has passed both chambers of the Legislature and is awaiting Governor Jindal’s signature. Jindal’s final approval, which he is expected to give, will usher in Louisiana as the 24th state, plus D.C., that allows access to medical marijuana for patients in need. The bill, sponsored by Senator Mills, addresses a gap in existing law. Technically, medical marijuana has been legal for doctors to “recommend” (“prescribe” is not the term here since the drug is still illegal under federal law) and patients to use since at least 1991, but the Department of Health and Hospitals never promulgated rules governing the distribution. Additionally, the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association has opposed distribution bills every year until this one. SB143 will create a central growing site and authorize ten dispensaries around the state to supply non-smokable forms of marijuana to patients with very specific illnesses. Right now, the list of qualifying patients include those with glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia and for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. The Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners will be able to add to the list of conditions over time.