Though it was a slim one, medical marijuana actually had a chance in Louisiana this year. “Had”, of course, being the operative word here.
Yesterday a medical cannabis bill that arguably would have set up the most restrictive in the country was shot down by the state Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
Louisiana technically has laws allowing patients to use medical marijuana, they were passed in 1991. But the problem is that there’s no way of distributing it, nor are doctors in the state writing recommendations for it, according to state Sen. Fred Mills, a Republican from New Iberia who sponsored the senate bill this year.
Despite Mills’ testimony before the committee about some of the medical benefits of cannabis as well as the testimony from a Tulane University professor about the safety of cannabis as a medicine, the proposal was shot down mostly because the feds still view all pot (medical or not) as illegal.
|Louisiana state Sen. Sherri Buffington.|
State Sen. Sherri Buffington, a Republican from Keithville, said allowing medical marijuana would make the job of law enforcement harder. Clearly Buffington cares more about the crooked police than she does the health, wellbeing and freedom of the constituents who voted her in to office. She says that passing the bill would be “putting my law enforcement and district attorneys in a impossible position, forcing [them]to break [their]oath.”
Also against the bill was Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, who claims that marijuana can be linked to as much as 85 percent of the murder and rape cases in his state. Seriously. Mills called out Caldwell, who obviously had never once read the proposal. “We’re not talking about rape and murder,” Mills said, visibly flustered with the ignorance in front of him. “We’re talking about people with cancer.”
Or, people like Louisianan Jacob Irving, who wakes up in agonizing pain daily as part of his congenital spastic quadriplegia – a condition that cannabis high in CBD has been anecdotally shown to greatly improve. Irving testified that the only medicine he is prescribed makes him vomit and no other legal options exist. Irving’s life has been one huge struggle, and he says he views himself as a “freak”. Medical cannabis would help him live a normal life.
Still, the committee was unfazed – even though many commended Irving for his story. Buffington even said she was in favor of the “concept” of medical marijuana, but still couldn’t support it in reality.
Mills later told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he found it “troubling” that the state Attorney General didn’t study the bill but still managed to kill it using his bully pulpit.
Mills says he will try and get a member of the House to push an identical version of the bill this year, but that he’ll likely have to concede and try again next year.