Medical marijuana debate set to begin this week in Baton Rouge
Chris Miller Reporting
Has medical marijuana's time come in Louisiana? It's a debate set to begin in Baton Rouge this week.
While an effort to reduce criminal penalties for marijuana went down blazing earlier this session, a pro-medical marijuana lobbyist says this is different. Jesse McCormick of the newly-formed Louisiana Cannabis Industry Association says they know the state is way too conservative to entertain complete legalization.
"We have no intention of moving to recreational," McCormick said. "This is about doing a tightly-regulated system where a doctor is a prescriber, there is a patient in need."
McCormick says when Governor Bobby Jindal said earlier this year that he would be open to a debate on the medical merits of Marijuana, enough people have gotten behind the effort to give a bill at least a chance of passing.
"Twenty-plus states are doing it so I think it was time for Louisiana to at least start the conversation, start the debate, to see if we have the temperature to move forward on something like this," McCormick said.
Louisiana law does not prohibit doctors from prescribing marijuana, but there's no exception in the law that would allow a dispensary to sell it, nor are patients currently allowed to buy or possess it in Louisiana.