The Louisiana House Committee on Health and Welfare has given approval to Senate Bill 143, a proposal to legalize the possession, use and state-sanctioned distribution of medical cannabis.
The bill, which has already passed the state’s full Senate with a 22 to 13 vote, would allow those with glaucoma, cancer and spastic quadriplegia who receive a recommendation from a physician to possess and use cannabis medicines. Unfortunately those with other conditions would not be able to use medical cannabis, and the measure would prohibit patients from actually smoking the medicine, though it would allow them to consume the plant through other methods such as vaporizers, oils, tinctures, edibles and topicals.
The bill would authorize ten medical cannabis dispensaries throughout the state, which would be regulated by the Department of Pharmacy.
The bill is now up for a vote by the full House of Representatives. Its passage would send it to Governor Bobby Jindal for consideration. Jindal has indicated that as long as the proposal is restrictive – as it clearly is – he’ll sign it if given the chance.