19 May 2016
American Press.com reports
Sens. Ronnie Johns, R-Sulphur, Dan “Blade” Morrish, R-Jennings and John Smith, R-Leesville, voted against concurring with the amendments. Sen. Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, supported it.
The list of debilitating medical conditions contained in the bill include cancer, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. One amendment removed glaucoma and muscle spasms from the list. Mills, a pharmacist, said the amendments were recommended by the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association.
The legislation would allow Louisiana-based physicians who are licensed and in good standing with the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners to recommend, instead of prescribe, the drug to patients at its lowest acceptable therapeutic level.
Opponents of the measure argued during previous hearings that expanding the use of medical marijuana will lead to legalization of marijuana. Meanwhile, supporters said it would help treat symptoms associated with debilitating conditions. Katie Cokern said medical marijuana could help her 9-year-old son, Conner, who suffers from multiple seizures.
The House approved the legislation May 11 with a 62-32 vote. The earlier Senate vote was 21-9.
The bill sets a Sept. 1 deadline for the LSU and Southern University agriculture departments to decide whether they want to be the state-sanctioned marijuana growers. Ten licensed distributors also have to be selected.
House lawmakers voted 85-0 to approve a bill that would raise the age threshold for the criminal aspects dealing with victims of human trafficking.
S.B. 90, by Johns, raises the age threshold from 18 to 21. The bill returns to the Senate for concurrence on House amendments.
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