Louisiana moves from medical cannabis laggard to a state Utah badly needs to emulate…!
Louisiana began with rules so restrictive it took something like five years after the law had passed for the two suppliers (universities) to get any medicine to patients at their total of two outlets. They also had a very restrictive conditions list and few approved doctors.
I.e., the situation was similar but even worse than Utah's 3001 compromise which supplanted Prop 2, with its four rounds of very incremental improvements notwithstanding, even as other "red states" like Oklahoma leaped ahead with expansive programs put up in record time.
But now deep red Louisiana has implemented some simple commonsense reforms that Utah's legislature could easily adopt in a special session as soon as one could be called and implement quickly.
"The [Louisiana] House was in favor 75-16, and the senate passed it with a 28-6 vote.
'It’s legal now,' [State Senator] Bagley said. 'There’s no reason to restrict access and this was just to be sure that everybody could get it.'
[Bagley now thinks] doctors are the best people to make decisions about medical cannabis, not legislators.
The bill would also allow any doctor approved by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to prescribe cannabis to patients. There wouldn’t only be a certain set of 'cannabis doctors' eligible to prescribe.
[And there will be no "patient caps" limiting the number of patients a doctor can recommend for.]
Currently, only 139 doctors in Louisiana are actively able to prescribe.
'If your doctor says ‘let’s try that, and I’ll write this out for you, and we’ll work it’ why would that be a problem?' Bagley questioned. 'It is up to the doctor. We trust them with everything else in our lives, this is just one more step.
'Everybody has a doctor they can go to, even if you don’t have a personal care physician. If that doctor thinks that medical marijuana will help you and you want to do that, now anyone can do that.
'Before, you had to go find a special doctor. If you were bedridden, you had to personally go down, physically go down and get a prescription, which was not going to happen to people who were bedridden or on hospice. That stops all that'.”
This only requires a change in the law's language. Bring it on Utah. Do it now!
Governor John Bel Edwards officially signed the expansion into law!