Medical marijuana heading to legislature
BATON ROUGE- For the second year in a row, state Representative Dalton Honore has filed a bill to make the sale of medical marijuana legal in Louisiana.
Since 1991, it's been ok for doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis, but it has not been legal for pharmacists to sell the drug.
Honore, a former East Baton Rouge Sheriff's deputy, said he's never consumed the drug personally. However, he believes science has proven cannabis has its benefits.
"People have testified all over the country about the good marijuana is doing for their particular ailment," Honore said.
Last year the bill didn't make it far. It was up against stiff resistance from law enforcement groups like the Louisiana District Attorney Association and the Louisiana Sheriff's Association.
Zachary Police Chief David McDavid says legalizing medical weed would require police departments provide special training for their officers. "We're going to have more training for driving under the impaired," said McDavid, "it's going to cost, and it's something smaller agencies can't afford."
Proponents of the drug say the benefits outweigh the costs. McDavid also says that legalizing medical marijuana would make it much easier for adults and minors without prescriptions to gain access to the drug.
"With the budget we have today," said Honore, "that money could go to education."
The initiative has even gained support from Governor Bobby Jindal, who released the following statement: "We'll review the legislation. We've said in the past we'd support limited uses of medical marijuana if it was tightly controlled and only prescribed for those who need it for certain medical conditions."