Louisiana’s full House of Representatives has voted to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.
The House voted 60 to 39 yesterday to expand the list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions. Filed by Representative Ted James, the House-approved legislation would add intractable pain, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe muscle spasms and Parkinson’s disease to the conditions eligible for medical marijuana use. A separate measure by Representative Rodney Lyons, which has already passed the House, would also add autism to the list.
“We’ve got a lot of vets who don’t want to take drugs, the heavy drugs,” says Representative Kenny Cox, a retired Army officer who argued that the law could help military veterans suffering from PTSD. The proposal must now be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to Governor John Bel Edwards for consideration.
“If we can prolong life and ease pain for one young person, one senior with this bill, I think we’re headed in the right direction,” says Representative James.
Passed in 2015 and altered in 2016, Louisiana’s current medical marijuana law allows those with cancer, cerebral palso, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy and other specific conditions to use marijuana in non-smokeable forms such as oils, sprays, pills and topicals (like lotions).