Where is Louisiana’s Medical Marijuana Program?

There’s a saying that things in the South move at their own pace. Such is the case with medical marijuana in Louisiana, it seems. In 2015, both the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Senate voted to pass medical marijuana legislation — again.

Louisiana legislators approved medical marijuana twice before — in 1978 with Act No. 725, and again in 1991 with HB 1112, called the “Louisiana Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Act,” which amended the 1978 act. But both pieces of legislation failed to create a functional regulatory framework for cultivation and dispensing, and the program never got off the ground.

The 2014 effort to establish a framework around medical marijuana in Louisiana faced heavy opposition from the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association and Buddy Caldwell, the state’s attorney general. Caldwell testified against Senate Bill 541, which died in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee by a vote of 6-2. It was reported that Caldwell hadn’t even read the bill in its entirety.

“It’s troubling that the attorney general of the state of Louisiana didn’t study the bill but with the clout he has, (swayed votes) against it,” the bill’s sponsor…

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