In local news:

At the RIMS South Louisiana chapter luncheon yesterday in New Orleans, Wayne Fontana spoke about the new medical marijuana distribution legislation passed in the last session and its implications for employers. Medical marijuana has been technically legal for doctors to “recommend” in Louisiana since at least 1991, but patients have been without legal means of obtaining it. The measure, 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 is limited to 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. Fontana spoke about the issue as a “blank page” for the time being, until such time as the compensability of medical marijuana is contested in court. He also predicted a shift in focus from the presence of THC on a drug screen toward more subjective determinations of impairment and mulled potential accommodations that could be required under the ADA. Marijuana remains unrecognized for medicinal use under federal law, but the White House has taken a hands-off approach to states that have legalized it within their borders for either medicinal or recreational use.

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