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Louisiana Will Remain Just Shy Of A Workable Medical Marijuana Program For Another Year


Louisiana MarijuanaI received the following alert out of Louisiana:

I am sorry to report that the Louisiana Legislature continues to repeat its mistakes. For nearly 40 years, flawed legislative drafting has prevented the establishment of a workable medical marijuana program. Yesterday, the House took another step forward by passing S.B. 180, but it failed to fix a key omission.

Last week, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law S.B. 271, legislation intended to fix a poison pill so Louisiana can establish a medical marijuana program (you can read about it here). However, that law did not amend the criminal statutes, meaning the program would provide medical marijuana to seriously ill patients but allow for their prosecution.

S.B. 180, Sen. Mills’ companion bill, seeks to close this loophole and does so for patients and caregivers. Unfortunately, the House did not even consider amending the bill to also shield growers, pharmacies, or their workers from criminal liability. While a court could find legal protections implicit for licensees, the omission could jeopardize the entire program.

S.B. 180 now returns to the Senate for a concurrence.

I hope you won’t give up hope, Louisianans! When this session ends, your state will be significantly closer to offering relief to seriously ill patients. The regulatory and licensing process will take many months, and final fixes can be made next session if they are needed. Meanwhile, the state can move to lay the structure for the program. By working together we can once and for all improve the lives of so many suffering residents.


Maggie Ellinger-Locke
Legislative Analyst
Marijuana Policy Project


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Johnny Green


  1. This is the work of the Louisiana Sherrifs Association. They have billions of dollars a year coming in from Prohibition of marijuana. Yes, it does make a difference every day they can keep it going. According to the LSA, they receive about 25 per head for each human they house in a county jail, or contacted warehouse they can wrap razor wire around. Humanity isn’t even a factor.

  2. Another year behind, all over “wording”. “Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words, the poster bearer cried…” ~Pink Floyd — Us and Them

  3. Typical obstructionist legislature maneuver. Texas has the same kind of B.S. in their socaled medical law.

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