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Louisiana House backs expansion of medical marijuana program

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BATON ROUGE (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers are moving to expand the state's medical marijuana program, as the product nears availability within months.
The House voted 60-39 Thursday to add more conditions to the list of diseases and disorders eligible for marijuana treatment. Rep. Ted James' proposal would include glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson's disease on the list.
A separate measure that won House passage would allow medicinal-grade pot for autism spectrum disorder.
Both await Senate debate.
Supporters say therapeutic cannabis could help veterans suffering from PTSD and others with severe medical conditions rather than steering them to addictive opioids. Opponents say lawmakers should wait until the medical marijuana program begins before expanding eligibility.
Medical marijuana is expected to start being dispensed this summer.


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